Tamil Nadu

Stalin urges PM for 50 lakh more COVID-19 vaccine doses

Way to go: The State still has a large eligible population which is yet to get vaccinated   | Photo Credit: PICHUMANI K

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the supply of 50 lakh additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines and an equal number of 0.5-ml auto-disable syringes or 1-ml/2-ml syringes to Tamil Nadu every week. “This will enable the State to vaccinate all the uncovered eligible population by October 31 and administer the second dose to those who are due for it. I request your early intervention in this regard,” he said in a letter.

Mr. Stalin said Tamil Nadu was capable of utilising 50 lakh doses every week — five lakh doses a day for six days a week and 20 lakh doses at the mega drive on the seventh day. “I have directed my officers to liaise with officials of the Ministry of Health, Government of India, and provide the necessary information to enable the State to get the additional doses.”

Until September 19, the Union government had supplied 3.97 crore doses and 2.21 crore 0.5-ml auto-disable syringes to the State. By deriving more doses out of the each 10-ml vial, the State had vaccinated 4.13 crore persons at government vaccination centres. “...despite the levels of vaccination achieved, it still has a large eligible population which is yet to get vaccinated, and this section continues to make the State vulnerable to the infection. Considering the capacity of the State and the uncovered eligible population, the State has no other option but to continue mega camps at regular intervals, besides the daily vaccination,” Mr. Stalin said.

Mr. Stalin also thanked the Union government for supporting the State’s initiatives to curb the spread of the contagion and allotting adequate vaccine doses to Tamil Nadu. But he pointed out that the State remained below the national average in many parameters of vaccination, primarily because of the inadequate pace of inoculation in the first four months. “This is despite our best efforts, since taking over, exhausting the supplies within two to three days of receipt. Hence, our State urgently needs additional supplies to compensate for the deficit,” he contended.

Two mega vaccination camps organised by the government were a “resounding success”, he said. Tamil Nadu vaccinated a record 28.91 lakh persons on September 12 and 16.43 lakh persons on September 19. The State crossed the 4-crore mark in vaccination and administered over one crore doses within the first 19 days of this month.

“In spite of such an increase in the pace of vaccination, the State is still below the national average since it continues to get lower quantities than the other States in terms of per capita allocation. Unless the allocation is increased substantially, the State will always stay below the national average...,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 8:33:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/stalin-urges-pm-for-50-lakh-more-covid-19-vaccine-doses/article36580192.ece

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