Covid: Maharashtra continues to be the worst-affected state with the highest number of cases.
Twenty-six vaccination centres have been shut in Mumbai, Maharashtra said today, adding that they are waiting for more vaccine doses from the Centre and the Union health ministry has been informed. Of the centres that shut, 23 centres are located in Navi Mumbai. Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has spoken to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on the issue.
Vaccination was halted in parts of the state last evening. "Satara, Sangli, Panvel have stopped vaccinations," state health minister Rajesh Tope said. Pune also shut over 100 vaccination centres because of vaccine shortage, Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule had tweeted.
Questioning why the Centre was discriminating against Maharashtra, Mr Tope said the populous state needs 40 lakh doses a week and 1.6 crore vaccines a month. "Maharashtra has double the population of Gujarat. Gujarat has got one crore doses and we have got one crore doses," he said.
The health minister said this would be one of the four topics they would flag during today's meeting over COVID19 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The other three would be Remdesivir supply and price control, supply of oxygen from nearby states, and ventilator operational support.
"I have just been informed that the Center increased COVID19 vaccine doses from 7 lakh to 17 lakh. Even this is less because we need 40 lakh vaccine doses a week and 17 lakh doses are not enough," Mr Tope was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Maharashtra's claims of vaccine shortage has set it on a collision course with the Centre. Dr Harsh Vardhan had accused the state of making false claims to divert attention from its mismanagement of the outbreak.
"The inability of Maharashtra government to act responsibly is beyond comprehension... The lackadaisical attitude of the state government has singularly bogged down the entire country's efforts to fight the virus," Dr Harsh Vardhan had said.
Today, Mr Tope said, "This is not an issue that Centre and state should fight on. We don't want to politicise this. We don't want to blame anyone".
"The request still remains a need based one, a scientific one," tweeted state minister Aaditya Thackeray.
"We need forty lakh vaccines a week. We won't increase vaccination capacity beyond this. But this capacity we already have," Mr Tope said.
He, however, added, "We want the Centre to allow immunisation of all above 18. The US has already started this".