The government today asked states and union territories to prepare a vaccination plan till June 15, emphasising that "advance information on supply and availability" has been shared. Several states, including Telangana and Delhi, have been citing shortage of doses over the last few days as a key challenge in stepping up the vaccination drive.
A total of 5 crore, 86 lakh,and 29 thousand doses will be provided to the states and union territories for free till June 15, the government said. The figure includes the doses that have supplied so far after India extended the vaccine net to all adults on May 1.
By June-end, states and union territories will be able to purchase 4 crore, 87 lakh and 55 thousand doses directly from vaccine makers, the centre said, citing the data shared by the manufacturers.
To avoid overcrowding at vaccination centres and ensure hassle-free booking of slots, states have been told to "prepare a district-wise, Covid Vaccination Centre (CVC)-wise plan" and publish the calendar on Cowin. Private vaccination centres, apart from the state governments, have been told to avoid publishing single-day calendars.
Ever since the rollout began for 18-44 age group on May 1, advance information on supply of doses was shared with the states, the Health Ministry said in its statement.
India has cleared three vaccines for emergency use - Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Russia's Sputnik V. In its statement, however, the centre has mentioned only Covishield and Covaxin.
Under "Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination" strategy, the centre said, "every month 50 per cent of the total Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL)-cleared vaccine doses would be procured by government of India, which will be made available to the states free of cost, as was being done earlier".
#LargestVaccineDrive— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) May 19, 2021
◻States advised to prepare a district-wise, #COVID Vaccination Centre (CVC) wise plan for administration of #COVID vaccines in advance and publicise it.
◻CVCs to publish calendars on CoWIN in advance to prevent overcrowding at Vaccination Centres.
Remaining vaccine doses "will be available for direct procurement" by the state governments and private hospitals, the official statement said.
"This advance visibility will enable better and more effective planning by the states," the government has said.
On Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said there is only three days' worth of Covishield vaccine left and the central government has refused to provide any more this month for this age group. The supplies of Covaxin for the younger age bracket are already over.
Telangana, for the fourth straight day, on Tuesday said it was running out of doses.
After 11 days of shortage, Kashmir got 90,000 doses today.
India began the world's largest vaccination drive in January. So far, over 18.5 crore doses have been administered as country - hit by a deadly second wave - continues to see a surge in active Covid cases.
Experts have said speeding up the vaccine drive is a key strategy in the fight against the pandemic.