Home >News >India >COVID: Centre flags Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi for below-par vaccination rate

The Centre on Wednesday wrote to Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi governments regarding below-par vaccination of eligible beneficiaries, including healthcare workers.

In a letter to the principal secretaries of Punjab, Delhi and Maharashtra, the Additional Health Secretary Manohar Agnani said that the performance of these states and UT have been below the national average. And it needs improvement.

"I look forward to your unstinted support to the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive which is critical to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

They were urged to undertake necessary corrective actions immediately towards improving the performance of COVID-19 vaccination drive in their states and union territory.

Aganani's letter comes after a strongly worded statement issued by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in which he hit out at Maharashtra and some other states, accusing them of trying to cover their "failures" and spreading panic among people by demanding vaccination of all without inoculating enough of eligible beneficiaries.

Lashing out at Maharashtra and some other states Vardhan, earlier today, had said, they are trying to cover their "failures" in containing the pandemic by making "deplorable" attempts through "irresponsible" statements to distract attention and spreading panic among people.

Vardhan said, "The inability of the Maharashtra government to act responsibly is beyond comprehension. To spread panic among the people is to compound the folly further. Vaccine supplies are being monitored on a real-time basis, and state governments are being apprised regularly about it. Allegations of vaccine shortage are utterly baseless."

Noting that Maharashtra's "testing is not up to the mark and their contact tracing leaves a lot to be desired", the Union minister said statements made by public representatives in the state about the shortage of vaccines were "nothing but an attempt to divert attention from repeated failures to control the spread of pandemic."

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope, on Wednesday morning, said that many inoculation centres are being shut due to the shortage of vaccines in the state, the worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the country, and they have 14 lakh doses which would last just three days.

"We need 40 lakh vaccine doses every week. We can then administer six lakh doses every day in a week. The doses we are getting are not enough," he said, adding the Centre should ensure that those in the 20-40 age group are vaccinated on priority.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also batted for the COVID-19 vaccine for all, saying every Indian "deserves the chance to a safe life". Similar demands for relaxing the age restriction have been made by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

(With inputs from agencies)

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