There is no shortage of anti-Covid vaccines in Rajasthan, the centre said today after the state said it will run out of vaccines soon if the centre does not urgently send more supplies. The state government had asked the centre for more doses to be sent as it slowed down the pace of the vaccination drive with only those who need their second dose being administered the shot today.
"The factual position is that there is no shortage of COVID-19 vaccine with the state at present. Rajasthan has been supplied 37.61 lakh doses and has consumed only 24.28 lakh doses till yesterday night. The central government is regularly monitoring availability of vaccine supply in all states and UTs (union territories), and providing the doses as per their requirement and consumption pattern," the centre said.
Rajasthan, which has been vaccinating 2.5 lakh people per day, says it is now only left with 5.85 lakh doses for the next two days, the state's Health Minister said. Dr Raghu Sharma has sent an SOS message to the centre, asking for a buffer stock of vaccine doses for the state.
"We have vaccines for three days. If the vaccines don't reach us... we asked for 60 lakh vaccines needed in March alone to continue the drive as is. If we don't get vaccines, the drive could stop mid-way... If we don't have the stock, how will the drive run?" Mr Sharma told NDTV.
The centre has already rushed 85,000 emergency doses of anti-Covid vaccines to the state.
Rajasthan has 67 lakh beneficiaries for the doses of either Covishield or Covaxin, the two approved vaccines in India. Over 29.9 lakh doses have been administered since the mega vaccination drive began in January., Mr Sharma said. Of these, the state government gave 2.15 lakh doses to the army.
With the inoculation drive now moving at a faster pace, the state needs 136 lakh vaccine doses in total for frontline workers and those in the age group of 60 and above and the 45+ with illnesses category. For the month of March alone, the state needs 60 lakh vaccine doses.
The state has also re-distributed the vaccines to meet shortfall in districts like Bundi, Jhalawar, Jhunjhunu, Alwar, Nagaur, Jaipur and Karauli.
On Monday, 77 people, including 38 MLAs, took their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the Rajasthan assembly premises.
179 fresh coronavirus cases pushed the state's infection tally to 3,21,711. No deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.