Several states wasted a large number of COVID-19 vaccine doses since India began its mass vaccination drive on January 16 till April 11. As many as 44 lakh out of 10 crore vaccine doses were wasted, NDTV found out through a Right to Information (RTI) query.
The highest number of vaccine doses were wasted in Tamil Nadu (12%). This was followed by Haryana (9.74%), Punjab (8.12%), Manipur (7.8%) and Telangana (7.55%). About 4.4% of the COVID vaccine was wasted throughout India.
The states with ‘zero wastage’ of vaccine doses were Kerala, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Goa, Daman and Diu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep, the centre said in the RTI reply.
This was revealed as several states have alleged vaccine shortage. These include Maharashtra, Telangana, Odisha, Rajasthan, Punjab, Telangana, West Bengal.
Also, the Pune-based Serum Institute of India, which is the world’s largest vaccine maker, has urged US President Donald Trump to the embargo on the export of raw materials for vaccines.
SII CEO Adar Poonawalla had made the appeal in a tweet, in which he tagged Biden.
In response, the Biden administration said it understands India’s pharmaceutical requirements and promised to give the matter due consideration, reported PTI.
SII is manufacturing Covishield, which is AstraZeneca/Oxford’s COVID jab, that is being administered in India.
Covaxin, developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, is the other vaccine currently in use. India has also approved the emergency use of Russia’s Sputnik V.
Meanwhile, another phase of the vaccination drive will begin on May 1 in which everyone above the age of 18 can get vaccinated.