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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Shortage of vaccines forces Tamil Nadu to halt inoculation till June 5

As of Monday, the state had around 4.93 lakh doses of vaccines of which 2.69 lakh were supposed to be used for people in the age group of 18-44 and 2.24 lakh for those above 45 years.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: June 1, 2021 2:23:30 pm
Tamil nadu, Tamil nadu vaccination roll out, Tamil nadu vaccine shortage, TN govt, TN covid cases, Chennai news, Indian expressHealth Minister Ma Subramanian said the state government had paid Rs 85 crore to procure an additional 25 lakh doses. (File)

The shortage of Covid-19 vaccines has forced the Tamil Nadu government to pause inoculation from June 2 to June 5. Many residents who visited the vaccination camps in their localities on Tuesday were sent back by the officials saying they don’t have stocks and asked them to come after June 6.

Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan on Monday said the existing stock will get over by Tuesday and the state will receive the next consignments by June 6 from Bharat Biotech and by June 9 from Serum Institute of India.

As of Monday, the state had around 4.93 lakh doses of vaccines of which 2.69 lakh were supposed to be used for people in the age group of 18-44 and 2.24 lakh for those above 45 years.

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“The Union Government allocated 20.43 lakh of doses for May month and we have received 18.68 lakh of doses. We are not sure when we will be getting the remaining 1.74 lakh of doses of vaccines. Our chief minister has written to Prime Minister Modi and we have expressed our need on multiple occasions. In June, the Centre has informed us that they will allocate 42.58 lakh of doses to us but the consignment in this allotment will reach only June 6 and the next will be on June 9 due to the supply issues,” Radhakrishnan said.

Radhakrishnan added that until the state receives the next consignment, the district collectors were informed to make use of the existing stock and make arrangements like putting the camp in one central point and issue tokens to the people.

The state has so far received 96 lakh doses. Health Minister Ma Subramanian said the state government had paid Rs 85 crore to procure an additional 25 lakh doses. “We have received 13 lakh doses and the remaining 12 lakh doses are expected to arrive soon,” he said. The state has also called for a tender for 3.5 crore rupees through Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) to vaccinate those in the age group of 18-45. The tender process is expected to be completed by June 5. The successful bidders will be producing the vaccines within six months of the bidding.

Meanwhile, the opposition leader in Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K Palaniswami, has requested the prime minister to increase the supply of anti-fungal drug Amphotericin to Tamil Nadu. In a letter, Edappadi said Mucormycosis was spreading rapidly all over the state.

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