Following Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s letter to the Union government on Monday, the state received two lakh additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday afternoon. The CM had written to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan requesting 50 lakh doses as the state had stock only for three days.
States including Kerala, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh had recently flagged the Union government regarding the need for additional vaccine doses, even as the Centre is trying to encourage citizens to take the vaccine as part of the ‘Tika Utsav’ this month. The ‘vaccine festival’ is happening from April 11 to April 14.
In a letter dated April 12, the Kerala CM had written, “The stock left with us is sufficient for conducting the vaccination for the next three days only. This shortage of vaccine has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare by the Chief Secretary as well as the Principal Secretary, Health. We are yet to get any additional supply of vaccines."
Pinarayi Vijayan had also stated in the letter that the state had been administering two lakh doses a day and wanted to increase that number to 2.5 to 3 lakh doses a day. There are 1,826 vaccination sites across the state, which includes 424 in private hospitals and 1,402 in government hospitals.
Andhra Pradesh received an additional 4.4 lakh doses on Monday from the Union government after running out of vaccines the previous day. Districts such as Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam also got 40,000 doses each on the same day.
The Kerala government has also taken additional precautions to curb the spread of COVID-19. Shops will have to shut by 9 pm and hotels can function only at 50% capacity.