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Business News/ News / India/  Maharashtra warns of Covid-19 vaccine shortage, says 'stocks to last only 3 days'
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Maharashtra warns of Covid-19 vaccine shortage, says 'stocks to last only 3 days'

'Currently, we have 14 lakh vaccine doses which will get over in 3 days. We've asked for 40 lakh more vaccine doses per week,' Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope was briefing the media about concerns he shared with Harsh Vardhan during a video conference yesterday evening. (ANI)Premium
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope was briefing the media about concerns he shared with Harsh Vardhan during a video conference yesterday evening. (ANI)

Maharashtra might have to stop its coronavirus immunisation drive after a few days because of a shortage of vaccine doses, according to state Health Minister Rajesh Tope. He said Maharashtra needs a stable supply of 40 lakh doses of Covid vaccines each week.

"Currently, we have 14 lakh vaccine doses which will get over in 3 days. We've asked for 40 lakh more vaccine doses per week," Tope said while speaking to reporters.

He also claimed that the state doesn't have enough Covid-19 vaccine doses at various vaccination centres, and people were apparently sent back owing to the lack of doses of approved Covid-19 vaccines.

The Maharashtra Health Minister added: "I'm not saying that the Center is not giving us vaccines but the speed of delivery of vaccines is slow."

Tope also said that the Maharashtra government had requested the Centre to vaccinate people of age group 20-40 years on priority as they are getting the most infected because they go out every day.

As many as 85,64, 908 people have been vaccinated so far since the roll-out of the inoculation drive. This includes 3,88,071 who were vaccinated on Tuesday.

On new Covid-19 strain, he said, "We suspect that there is a new strain that is affecting people in a shorter duration of time. Samples have been sent to National Centre for Disease Control to ascertain this."

'Many Maha districts to run out of vaccine stock soon'

Several districts in Maharashtra will reportedly run out of coronavirus vaccine stock in a day or two and the government has been informed about it, a senior state health official has said.

As of today morning, the state has around 14 lakh vaccine doses, principal secretary (health) Pradeep Vyas told news agency PTI.

"Many districts will run out of the stock today or tomorrow. The Centre is aware of the situation and (we) have also communicated in writing," he added.

Maharashtra, which is at the peak of the second Covid-19 surge and the positivity rate is 25%, can easily administer five lakh vaccine shots in a day if there is a clarity on schedule and availability.

For the last few days, the state has been vaccinating about four lakh people per day.

An official statement on Tuesday said Maharashtra had received 1.06 crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, out of which 88 lakh doses have been used while the wastage stood at 3%.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meghna Sen
Business journalist tracking markets, companies, economy and crypto for Livemint. She has 6 years of experience with online and print publications. Email: meghnasen08@gmail.com
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Published: 07 Apr 2021, 01:05 PM IST
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