The Telangana government stopped the vaccination process due to vaccine shortage. Contrary to claims of vaccine shortage, Telangana government has more than 6.9 lakh doses of vaccines at its disposal. Yet, the state has stopped inoculating people for various reasons. 

These vaccines are literally in cold storage as the state is not able to prioritise those who could be initially vaccinated from among the groups awaiting vaccination. Since May 14, Telangana has suspended the vaccination drive.

About 4.9 lakh doses meant for those in the age group of 18-44 years and 1.8 lakh doses meant for those aged 45 years and above are lying idle in the storage. The state claims that they have Covishield vaccines in excess, but inadequate stocks of Covaxin.

The situation is messy as Telangana is unable to prioritise whom to vaccinate first in the 18-44 years category. The Central government, which professes to allocate vaccines on an equitable basis, has sent 4.9 lakh doses for inoculating those in 18-44 years category. There are 2 crore beneficiaries in the state who come under this category.  So, the state would need 4 crore vaccines.

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An official of the Health Department conceded that “these doses are not enough to start vaccinating those who are in the age group of 18-44 years, since they number a crore. Vaccination in this category will be based on priority groups. The current stock is not even enough to provide to priority groups. The Telangana government has already requested the central government to increase the allocation of vaccines”.

Telangana State got 57.30 lakh vaccine doses for inoculating those in 45 years and above category, healthcare workers and frontline workers. So far, 55.43 lakh doses have been used. For use in this category, Telangana currently has 1.86 lakh doses at its disposal. Of these, 1.28 lakh are Covisheild and the remaining are Covaxin.

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In the 45+ category, there are 92 lakh beneficiaries in the state and so Telangana would require 1.86 crore doses. Around 38 lakh beneficiaries got the first dose. With the Central government increasing the duration of the gap between the first dose and the second dose for Covishield to 12 weeks, according to health department, there are no persons waiting to get booster shot of Covishield. Thus, the state now has 1.28 lakh of Covishield vax doses lying idle.

Besides, there are 3 lakh people waiting to get Covaxin second dose by May end, though the state has just about 58,230 doses. The state would need 2.4 lakh doses of Covaxin.

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Telangana suspended the vaccination drive mainly to ensure that the programme runs uninterruptedly with adequate stocks in hand.
According to officials, the modalities for giving the booster dose for Covaxin are being worked out. The beneficiaries would be informed accordingly within a couple of days.

Officials are hopeful that the global tenders will yield a good response and help the state start vaccinating those in the age group of 18-44 years. The task force is already in discussions with vaccine makers. #KhabarLive #hydnews