Apart from private community centres, the supply of Covaxin to government vaccination centres too has been erratic, allege residents.

A person about to get vaccinated at a government health centre
news COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, September 23, 2021 - 18:34

“After a whole month, today (September 23) we are administering Covaxin. For many days we were just administering Covishield as Covaxin was not accessible to us,” said a volunteer at the Sai Temple Hall in Sainikpuri, Medchal-Malkajgiri district, which comes under the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. The vaccination centre is being run by the temple’s committee.

A similar situation was faced by many apartment associations in Hyderabad, who could not administer the second dose of Covaxin to their residents. Ideally, those who took Covaxin should get their second dose after 4-6 days. But the unavailability of the vaccine to private community centres has delayed the process of full vaccination.

“I was administered the first dose of Covaxin on June 3, and it has been almost two months since then but I’m yet to get my second dose. The vaccination centre has repeatedly said that they are giving only Covishield. So, I stopped bothering visiting the centre often,” said Raman, a resident of Yapral. Raman took the first dose of the vaccine at the Sai Temple Hall.

Another resident from Yapral, Sowmya, said, “I’m a resident of GK’s Habitat Royale. Recently, our apartment’s association organised a COVID-19 vaccination drive. However, they too did not have Covaxin.”

The supply of Covaxin to government vaccination centres too has been erratic, allege residents. A staff member working at the government vaccination centre in Balaji Nagar said, “When the vaccination drive began, all centres mostly administered Covishield to the beneficiaries, and based on that, we were mostly given Covishield stocks for the second dose too.”

Speaking to TNM, the District Medical Health Officer (DMHO) of Medchal-Malkajgiri K Mallikarjuna Rao denied that there is a problem of inadequate stocks of Covaxin in the district. “Last week, we dispatched Covaxin doses to all the government vaccination centres,” he said.

However, the distribution of the vaccines is unpredictable, said the DMHO of a neighbouring district. Admitting that there has been a problem in the distribution of vaccines, the DMHO, on condition of anonymity, said, “There is definitely a problem in the vaccine distribution. Covaxin and Covishield are being distributed on alternate weeks by the government of India. Last week we were supplied only Covaxin, and this week we do not have any stock left.”

TNM has reached out to the Director of Public Health, G Srinivasa Rao, for his comment on the alleged shortage of Covaxin in the state. The story will be updated following his response.

Meanwhile, according to the CoWin portal, as on Thursday, September 23, a total of 64,28,333 people in the state have been fully vaccinated, while 2,35,31,201 of the eligible population have received their first dose.

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