Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 24 June 2021 9.41 PM IST

As Maharashtra faces vaccine shortage, state health minister’s Jalna district received extra doses


MUMBAI: Amid rising COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, over past few days several districts had to shut down the ongoing vaccination drive due shortage of vaccines. Amidst this, a report has surfaced saying that Jalna had a surplus of vaccines while others were reeling with shortage.

According to a report by the Indian Express, from April 7 to 9, when several districts in Maharashtra had to shut down their centres, Jalna had a surplus that would last at least 10 more days.

The report further states that the Jalna district received 60,000 vaccine doses more than its allotment of 17,000. Sources told the leading daily that Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope called Health Department officials and asked them to increase the allocation to his Home district, Jalna, to 77,000 doses.

According to the report, state immunisation officer, Dr DN Patil, diverted 60,000 doses from Aurangabad to Jalna on April 1. But, between April 8 and 9, officials across Maharashtra districts made frantic calls for more supplies to the state health department. Finally, Tope allowed transfer of 15,000 doses from Jalna to nearby districts.

Meanwhile, Jalna’s neighbouring districts received lower doses despite performing better. The report states that Beed received 30,800 doses on April 1; Latur got 53,800 doses; and Parbhani got 21,500 doses.

The report quoted unnamed sources saying that Tope insisted on allotting Jalna more stock on March 31 because Maharashtra had received a huge supply from the Centre.

Meanwhile, Tope denied the claim and said no particular district was given preference over the other. "If Jalna got more stocks, this was done to encourage more vaccination," the Maharashtra Health Minister told Indian Express. He also pointed out that against the state average of 27% of the target population receiving vaccinations, Jalna had accomplished just 18.1% at the time.

The Maharashtra Health Minister on Tuesday said the state, the worst-hit by the infection in the country, will be getting 3.5 lakh vials of Remdesivir, a key COVID-19 drug, and 20,000 oxygen concentrators. Of the Remdesivir stock to be received by Maharashtra, 40,000 injections have been delivered and already utilised.

He said nine lakh vaccine doses have been received for the 45-plus age group. Tope said, "45 per cent of the beneficiaries aged 45 and above have been vaccinated so far." In each district, people under the 18-44 age group (for whom inoculation opened on May 1) are being vaccinated at five centres and so far nearly a lakh beneficiaries in the youngest category have received their doses, he said.

Maharashtra on Tuesday reported 51,880 new coronavirus infections which took the state's case tally to 48,22,902, while 891 fatalities pushed the death toll to 71,742, the health department said. Out of 891 deaths, 397 occurred in the last 48 hours while the rest had taken place earlier but were reported on Tuesday.

As many as 65,934 patients -- more than new infections -- were discharged from hospitals, which took the count of recoveries to 41,07,092. The recovery rate of the state is 85.16 percent and case fatality rate is 1.49 percent. There are 6,41,910 active cases in Maharashtra as of now.

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