COVID: Vaccine stock for 18-44 age group on verge of exhaustion, vaccination to be halted: Atishi

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New Delhi, May 22 (PTI) The Covid vaccine stock for 18-44 years beneficiaries is on verge of exhaustion on Saturday and vaccination will be halted for this age group if doses are not replenished, AAP MLA Atishi said.

In a vaccination bulletin issued online, she also said, 'today only 88 sites across 31 schools were used', which was over 200 locations, five days ago, for this category.

Covaxin stock is already over and Covieshield vaccine stock for 18-44 yrs beneficiaries is on verge of exhaustion on Saturday and vaccination will be halted for this age group if doses are not replenished, she said.

'This means out of nearly 88 sites which are administering Covishield to this segment, almost all centres will be shut after Saturday. The entire vaccination programme for 18-44 age group will be temporarily stopped in all government schools, meaning they won't be able to take the vaccines after today,' she said.

Calling the non-availability of vaccines for this group extremely bothersome, she said the young has been affected a lot by COVID-19 in the second wave and they have either been hospitalised in critical condition or have even succumbed to the virus.

'Old people who got vaccinated were saved despite having comorbidities and only had mild infections. The 18-44 age group is the lot that really wants to get vaccinated at the earliest. A large number of the youth is coming forward to register themselves on CoWIN,' she said.

For those above 45 years, healthcare and frontline workers, Covaxin stock is left for less than a day, and Covishield will last another eight days.

'We have received 45,94,250 doses for this category out of which 43,42,480 have been utilised. This means, 2,51,770 are still left with us. The stock for Covaxin, which is too less, is being used to inoculate people with the second dose.

'First dose of Covaxin are not being given now. This is because we have a limited supply of Covaxin for 45 plus category,' she said.

On May 21, 48,628 doses were administered. The total number of doses administered so far is above 50 lakh, out of which over 11.31 lakh are those who have received both the doses, she said.

'The substantial reduction in the number of vaccines administered can be attributed to two reasons. One is the fact that on Wednesdays' and Fridays', routine immunisations are done for children in hospitals and dispensaries. Second, the stock of Covishield is nearing its end for the 18-44 age bracket, and hence quite a few centres had shut down on Friday,' she said.

Of those vaccinated on Friday, nearly 40,000 people have got their first dose, and only 8,544 have got their second dose. The total doses administered has increased to more than 50,20,214 doses, she said.

'However, despite this high speed drive, the matter of concern is that we are unable to further ramp it up because of the shortage of vaccines. We need to ramp the numbers further so as to protect the people of Delhi. Out of 50,20,214 doses administered, nearly 11,31,577 people have received both their shots and are fully vaccinated,' she stated.

Atishi appealed to the Centre to supply vaccines at the earliest to Delhi, especially for the 18-44 segment. 'Even though all the states have been asked to procure directly from the manufactures, the companies have refused to supply vaccines to us beyond what has been stated to them by the Centre. An humble appeal to the Centre to supply the vaccines,' she said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, requesting the Centre to supply vaccines to Delhi as soon as possible.

'If not, from Monday, we will have to temporarily shut down all the centres administering vaccines to those aged between 18-44 years,' she said. PTI KND/SLB TDS TDS

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