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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Covid-19 vaccine shortage slows down vaccination drive in Delhi

Data shows that while the city administered an average of 86,400 vaccines in the first week of July, this fell to an average of 62,800 in the second week.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: July 14, 2021 12:27:25 pm
A man gets a shot of a Covid-19 vaccine in New Delhi. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)

With vaccines running short, Delhi has been forced to stall its vaccination drive several times over the past week. According to health minister Satyendar Jain, several vaccination centres in the city will not function on Wednesday because of the shortage.

“There is a shortage of vaccines in Delhi. We received a small stock of 1.5 lakh Covishield vaccines on Monday night…We have at the most around 1.68 lakh vaccines which can’t last beyond Tuesday or half of Wednesday. We have to shut down vaccination centres. We have the capability to administer three to four lakh vaccine doses a day,” he said.

Data shows that while the city administered an average of 86,400 vaccines in the first week of July (this includes the days on which several government centres are shut owing to holidays or other regular vaccination drives), this fell to an average of 62,800 in the second week.

Several other states are also facing a shortage.

In Delhi, only Covishield is being administered as a first shot and all Covaxin doses have been reserved for second doses as the supply is “short and unreliable”, officials said. The gap between the two doses for Covaxin is 4 weeks as against 12-16 weeks for Covishield.

“We are fully prepared to vaccinate a large number of people, but there’s a lack of vaccines which halts our otherwise smooth-going vaccination programme. We can’t function like Haryana and slowly vaccinate people to hoard stocks. We are vaccinating the maximum number of people as and when we are receiving the vaccines,” Jain said.

Daily Covid cases in the city have remained under 100 since June 29 in the city. On Tuesday, 76 new cases were reported at a test positivity rate of 0.11 per cent. Two people died of the disease. The city’s active case count has come down to 683.

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