Due to a heavy shortage of covid-19 vaccines in the city, 26 vaccination centres have been shut today in Mumbai, according to the state government. It said that further batches are awaited from the Centre to inoculate all as they have informed the Union Health Ministry too about the situation.
23 of the centres that closed were in Navi Mumbai. As per reports, the Nationalist Congress Party’s chief Sharad Pawar has conversed with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan regarding the matter.
The sequence of halting vaccinations started last evening after centres in Satara, Sangli, Panvel shut down, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said. Tweeting about a similar situation in Pune, Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule said that 100 inoculation centres got closed in the city due to the lack of vaccines.
Mr Tope raised questions over the discrimination of the Centre against Maharashtra as the second most populous state requires 40 lakh jabs of the vaccine per week and 1.6 crore vaccines every month. However, it is receiving 17 lakh doses only. “Maharashtra has double the population of Gujarat. Gujarat has got one crore doses and we have got one crore doses,” he said.
He added that 4 subjects will be discussed during the meeting with the Prime Minister today pertaining to covid-19. One of them would be the shortage of vaccines while the others would be the price control and supply of Remdesivir, oxygen supply from neighbouring 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 said to reporters.
The current vaccine deficiency war has created a wall between the Centre and Maharashtra. Dr Harsh had alleged that the state was accusing the government of fake reasons in a bid to distract the public from the mismanagement and mishaps in handling the pandemic.
“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.
Mr Tope responded today, “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, adding that the state needs the central government to permit them to administer vaccines to everyone above the age of 18, stating the example of the US which has already begun with this program.