While India, with an average of 34,30,502 anti-coronavirus doses being given per day, tops globally in the number of jabs administered daily, it is the issue of vaccine wastage that has been making headlines since the last two days, ever since the Centre accused the Maharashtra government of wasting five lakh doses.
The war of words has also highlighted the number of vaccine doses that have been wasted since they got approval for use in the country. According to a report in Hindustan Times.
Tamil Nadu (12.4%), Haryana (10%) and Bihar (8.1%) are among states from where maximum wastage has been reported. Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Assam and Manipur are not very far behind with 7, 7.3, 8, 7.3 and 7.2 per cent wastage, respectively.
The data comes at a time was there has been an alarming spike in the coronavirus cases across the country in what is being termed as the second wave.
The states that performed well on index with zero wastage were Goa, West Bengal, Lakshadweep, Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Mizoram.
Maharashtra, where health minister Rajesh Tope issued a dire warning on Wednesday, saying the supplies would run out in three days unless replenished, reported 1.9 % vaccine waste. In the state, a total of 11,078,500 people received the vaccine, of which 9,514, 650 doses were successfully administered. A total of 1,483,970 doses are in the pipeline.
The wastage of coronavirus vaccine has been an area of concern for the government, National Health Authority CEO Dr Ram Sewak Sharma said Friday, suggesting that consolidating smaller vaccination centres into larger ones can help address this issue.
He stressed that vaccination aims to cover people who need it and not those who want it, with the responsibility to prevent wastage lying with state governments and local authorities.
“The wastage of vaccine is an area of concern. We are lucky to have manufacturing capacity of vaccine, but it does not mean we can waste the vaccine. Local management can reduce that part,” he said.
He also stressed on the need for consolidating smaller vaccination centres.
“There are other minor details like the need to consolidate vaccine centres into larger centres and if that happens then vaccination wastage will also reduce. Wastage takes place generally in the last vial. People at times not turning up after getting appointment is also an issue,” he said.