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Lakshadweep records highest vaccine wastage under covid inoculation program

Lakshadweep recorded the highest vaccine wastage under India’s nationwide covid-19 inoculation program followed by Tamil Nadu and Assam with 9.76%, 8.83% and 7.70% respectively, the union health ministry data showed as on Tuesday.

The central government has so far provided over 15 crore vaccine doses to States/UTs free of cost, the union health ministry said on Tuesday. While of the 15,65,26,140 doses the total consumption including wastages is 14,64,78,983 doses, more than 1 crore doses (1,00,47,157) are still available with the States/UTs to be administered, the government said in a statement.

Further, more than 80 Lakh (86,40,000) doses will also be received in addition by the States/UTs in the next 3 days. Amidst reports of government officials from Maharashtra pointing out that the vaccines in the State are finished thereby adversely impacting the vaccination drive in the state, the central government clarified that the total covid-19 vaccine doses received by Maharashtra as on 27th April 2021 (at 8 am) are 1,58,62,470.

“Of this, the total consumption including wastage (0.22%) was 1,49,39,410. Balance of 9,23,060 doses is still available with the state for administration of vaccine doses to the eligible population groups. Furthermore, 3,00,000 doses of covid-19 vaccine are in the pipeline for delivery in the next three days,” the union health ministry said in a statement.

Phase-I of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy was launched on 16th January 2021, prioritizing protection for Health Care Workers (HCWs) and Frontline Workers (FLWs). As systems and processes stabilized, Phase-II was initiated from 1st March 2021, focusing on protecting our most vulnerable i.e. all people above 45 years of age, accounting for more than 80% Covid mortality in the country. The central government last week had announced that the vaccination for all adults will start in the country from May 1 under its “liberalised” and “accelerated” Phase 3 Strategy of the National Covid-19 Vaccination program.

Under the new policy vaccine manufacturers would now be free to supply the 50% doses to State governments and in the open market. The manufacturers would however have to supply 50% of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to government of India as per the strategy.

The central government has been telling states to keep the vaccine wastage below 1%. The union health ministry recently said that Government of India, from its share, will allocate vaccines to States/UTs based on the criteria of extent of infection (number of active Covid cases) and performance (speed of administration).

“Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in these criteria and will affect the criteria negatively. Based on the above criteria, State-wise quota would be decided and communicated to the States adequately in advance,” the health ministry said.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday clarified that the Centre will continue giving vaccine doses from its 50% quota to the states and UTs for free under its recently announced Phase 3 strategy of covid-19 Vaccination.

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