COVID-19 vaccination for those of age 18-44 is unlikely to begin on the scheduled date of May 1 in Tamil Nadu due to shortage of vaccines.This situation of vaccine shortage is not unique to Tamil Nadu as neighboring Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have also said they cannot start the drive for this age category due to the same reason,
“The Chief Minister had ordered 1.5 crore vaccines. But until now, we don’t know when it will reach and whether it will reach by tomorrow. We have not received any information,” J Radhakrishnan, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) told reporters on Friday. He said, “It’s not just Tamil Nadu, but other states are also facing the same issue.”
Maharashtra and Delhi too have reported similar shortage and said that the respective governments will inform the public once vaccine stocks arrive.
The vaccine shortage in TN and many other states in the country comes at a time when the second wave of infections has exposed the public health system. People are dying in want of oxygen, ICU and ventilator beds. To address the situation, the state government has started an Unified Command Centre. Set up at the office of National Health Mission, it will look over bed allocation for critically ill and oxygen dependent patients including those in private hospitals, The UCC can be reached at 104 or @104GoTN on Twitter and hashtag #BedsForTN .
On Thursday, Tamil Nadu reported 17,897 new cases of COVID-19 with 107 deaths. The number of persons in the state currently being treated for COVID-19 stood at 1,12,556. Chennai accounted for 5,445 cases while Chengalpattu accounted for 1,164 new cases. Coimbatore reported 1,008 new cases while Tirunelveli reported 849 new COVID-19 cases.
With the situation in Tamil Nadu remaining grim, the state government has said night curfew and complete lockdown on Sundays will continue to be in force until further notice, All cinema theatres, gyms, malls, beauty parlours, salons, spas and big stores remain closed since April 18 when the government had passed an order. All tourist spots including beaches were also ordered to be closed to public entry.