Vaccine distribution in proportion to healthcare workers in each state: Centre

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: Amid charges by some states that they have received an inadequate supply of Covid-19 vaccines, the Centre on Wednesday clarified that it has distributed vaccines in proportion to healthcare workers in each state.

“Full initial procurement amount of 1.65 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin have been allocated to all states in the proportion of health care workers database,” said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a series of tweets. “Therefore, there is no question of discrimination against any state in the allocation of vaccine doses.”

The clarification comes after Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope alleged that the state has just received 9.83 lakh of doses even though it had sent a databased of 17.5 lakh healthcare workers in the state.

The Centre has, for the first phase of the vaccination, procured 1.1 crore doses of Covishield from the Serum Institute of India and 55 lakh doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech to inoculate healthcare workers. 

As both the vaccines are to be given in two doses each for the full course, it means that at least 2 crore doses are required for healthcare workers, estimated to be nearly 1 crore in the country. 

“This is an initial lot of supply of vaccine doses and would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come. Therefore, any apprehension being expressed on account of deficient supply is totally baseless and unfounded,” the Centre said.

It added that the states have been advised to organize vaccination sessions taking into account 10 % reserve or wastage doses and an average of 100 vaccinations per session per day.

Therefore, any undue haste on the parts of states to organize unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day is not advised, said the ministry.

It also sad that states have also been advised to increase the number of vaccination session sites that would be operational every day in a progressive manner as the vaccination process stabilizes and moves forward.

Though the government so far has not made public details of beneficiaries to be vaccinated on the first day or the number of vaccination centers where the inoculations will be carried out, sources said that there are nearly 3,000 centres across the country where the sessions are going to be organized.

“This number was 5,000 initially but following our request that the process should begin in a graded and cautious manner with limited vaccinations, states have reduced the number and it now stands a little over 2,900,” a senior official in the ministry said.