Health authorities in Telangana announced on Sunday that they are suspending distribution of Covaxin in view of inadequate stock of the vaccine. Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao said that in view of inadequate stocks and non-receipt of fresh stocks from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the second dose drive for persons above 45 years of age is postponed. Details regarding resumption of vaccination drive will be made available subsequently, he said.
The suspension comes at a time when the state has been focusing on the second dose for people above 45 years for over two weeks. The state has stopped administering the first dose for beneficiaries and has also not taken up vaccination for those above 18 years of age due to lack of sufficient supplies from the Union government. Telangana, which claims to have the capacity to give 10 lakh vaccines every day, is administering 30,000 to 40,000 vaccines daily due to the shortage. On May 14, health authorities administered about 34,000 vaccines.
The state has so far given 56.25 lakh doses. A total of 11.37 lakh beneficiaries received the second dose. The state government had revealed on Saturday that the Union government decided to increase the quota of oxygen, Remdesivir injections and supply of vaccines to the state. Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal informed Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao about the decision to increase the quota. The Union Minister also responded positively to the demand made by the CM to increase the vaccinations quota.
The state has already conveyed to the Centre that to vaccinate people above 45 years of age, it requires 1.29 crore doses. The Chief Minister requested the Union government to supply 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh doses per day. There is an urgent need for 13 lakh vaccines till the end of May, the state told the Centre.