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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Pune vaccine store room has no doses for govt centres, private hospitals have excess stock

“We have 11,500 doses for distribution to private hospitals...,” said District Immunisation Officer Dr Sachin Edke.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: August 7, 2021 7:39:53 am
Pune vaccine store room has no doses for govt centres, private hospitals have excess stockHealth officials said there has always been a demand-supply mismatch of vaccine doses in Pune district. (File photo)

Pune district has been facing an erratic supply of Covid-19 vaccine doses. As on Friday, the district vaccine store room had no doses for distribution at government vaccination centres.

“We have 11,500 doses for distribution to private hospitals…,” said District Immunisation Officer Dr Sachin Edke.

Health officials said there has always been a demand-supply mismatch of vaccine doses in Pune district.

The supply has remained erratice despite instructions by state Health Minister Rajesh Tope to ensure availablity of larger number of vaccine doses for districts that have a Covid positivity rate higher than the state average, including Pune.

Till date, over 64 lakh vaccine doses have been administered across Pune district. At least 16.5 lakh people are fully vaccinated with both doses while 46.85 lakh have got the first vaccine dose. While the eventual target is vaccinating approximately 85 lakh beneficiaries, 55 per cent of them have received the first dose while 19 per cent have got both doses, said district health officials.

In Pune city, civic health authorities have been able to administer more than 25 lakh vaccine doses since January this year. Of the 25 lakh beneficiaries, at least 8 lakh have got both jabs of the vaccine. Now, a sizable number of beneficiaries who had received the first dose three months ago are registered for the second dose. `

Last week, Pune Municipal Corporation authorities had received 64,000 vaccine doses and on Tuesday this week, they got 18,000 doses. However, there has been no supply of vaccine doses since the last two days, said civic officials. The earlier stock is now being used to administer the second dose at most vaccination centres.

“We are awaiting a fresh stock of Covishield vaccine doses,” Suryakant Deokar, PMC immunisation officer, told The Indian Express. “We are dependent on the state for our supply of vaccine doses,” he added.

Meanwhile, large private hospitals in the city have witnessed low footfall for paid vaccinations.

Dr H K Sale, executive director of Noble Hospital, said the number of people seeking the vaccine has dwindled. “Vaccination is very slow and people are not turning up at the hospital,” said Dr Sale. Noble Hospital currently has a stock of 12,000-14,000 vaccine doses.

Dr Sale, however, expressed hope that with a number of beneficiaries now set to receive the second-dose of the Covid 19 vaccine by mid-August, the numbers will increase again. “But we will wait before procuring more doses,” he said.

However, for smaller health facilities, it has been a challenge to procure vaccine doses.

Dr Sanjay Patil, chairman of the Hospital Board of India’s Pune chapter, said that a joint order from more than 30 small and medium hospitals for one lakh doses was rejected in June this year.

Small and medium hospitals are facing several problems in procuring small quantities of doses as there is no immediate supply. Only 12 have the stock of vaccines and these smaller hospitals may also rethink before procuring doses.

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