The Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Health Departments have refuted the Union Health Ministry statistics on vaccine wastage for the two states. While the Health Ministry had stated that Telangana accounted for 17.6% of vaccine wastage, about 11.6% of waste was attributed to Andhra Pradesh.
The health departments of both states have claimed that the vaccine wastage statistics from the Union government were not accurate.
Telangana government in their daily COVID-19 bulletin on March 18, said that vaccine wastage in the state was only at 1.22 % and provided figures to prove their claim. The Andhra Pradesh health department officials told the Print that vaccine wastage in the state could be around 5% and attributed the reason for wastage to low turnouts.
The Union Health Ministry, on March 17, had informed the media that the average percentage of COVID-19 vaccine wastage across India was only 6.5%, but states such as Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka recorded figures higher than the national average.
The Telangana Health Department said they have been issued 9,52,550 vaccine doses as per the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) portal. Of these, about 40,540 doses were reserved for personnel belonging to the armed forces. About 25,680 doses were classified as buffer stock for advance scheduling.
The bulletin said the net vaccine consumed by the state was 8.86 lakh, while the doses administered as per the Co-WIN dashboard is 8.75 lakh. Thus the vaccine wastage as per the government's own numbers for Telangana is just 1.22 %.
Dr G Sinivasa Rao, the Telangana Director of Public Health, took to social media to clarify the same, while the Health Minister of Telangana Etela Rajendar did not comment on the issue.