Mumbai: Maharashtra, which is grappling with the worst surge of covid-19, may run out of covid-19 vaccines in three days, state Health Minister Rajesh Thope said. The Centre has been asked for more vaccine doses, he added.
"We do not have enough of vaccine doses at various vaccination centres and people have to be sent back due to shortage of doses we have demanded from the Centre that people of age group from 20 to 40 years must be vaccinated on priority he goes ahead and says that we are working on war footing to increase the number of beds in Pune Mumbai Nashik and other parts of the state well he also says that 12 metric tonnes of oxygen is produced and 7 tonnes of oxygen is consumed daily we have demanded that we should be supplied medical oxygen from nearby states if needed we will close down industries that use oxygenBut won’t let supply of medical oxygen be affected," he said.
"We have a vaccine wastage rate of 3% in Maharashtra which is half of the national average vaccine wastage rate of 6% we suspect that there is a new strain that is affecting people in a shorter duration of time samples have been sent to national Centre for disease control to ascertain," he added.
The minister further added that he has written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan seeking more supply of vaccine doses. In the letter, he has also reiterated Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray's request of making covid-19 vaccine available for all adults. Notably, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has ruled out the possibility of expanding covid-19 vaccination drive to all.
"I have written a letter to Hon Health Min stating that as Maharashtra has been facing a high caseload of COVID cases and at the same time has been vaccinating people the highest in the country. My request 1) - to make vaccine accessible to all above 18 years, 2) Maharashtra is facing a vaccine shortage the state government should be provided adequate vaccines as requested by Hon.CM in his letter to Hon.PM else will hamper our vaccination outreach. Hope MoH will consider the demand and do what is the NEED of the HOUR," Thope added.