Jharkhand facing shortage of COVID vaccines, says state's Health Department official

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Siddharth Tripathi, Senior Nodal officer, Health Department (Photo/ANI)
Siddharth Tripathi, Senior Nodal officer, Health Department (Photo/ANI)

Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], June 29 (ANI): Jharkhand is facing a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines with a state health department official on Tuesday stating that the state is left with just one day's stock of COVID-19 vaccine.

The state does not have any vaccine for tomorrow, a senior Nodal Officer said on Tuesday.

"Jharkhand is left with 82652 vials of vaccine which is sufficient enough for today only. As of now, there is no vaccine for tomorrow. We are having talks with the central government. Hopefully, we will get some information regarding this by late evening," Siddharth Tripathi, Senior Nodal officer of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) wing of Health Department said.

Meanwhile, the additional chief secretary of Jharkhand, Arun Kumar Singh on Monday wrote to the Union Health Secretary of India requested the Centre to reduce the share of vaccines for private hospitals in the state from 25 per cent to 5 per cent for the state.

He had also requested that at least 95 per cent of vaccines for the state should be allocated from the government route to enable equitable distribution of vaccines.

"This would also ensure adherence to the constitutional mandate of equity, equality, and reasonable opportunity for all the citizens," he added.

The letter states that 75 per cent population of Jharkhand lives in rural areas which has negligible reach of private hospitals. Even in the city is where private hospitals are available, on account of lack of purchasing parity, demand for Covid-19 vaccine on payment basis is very limited as Below the Poverty Line (BPL) population across the state is more than 37 per cent.

Out of 24 districts, 13 are notified as tribal districts, and 19 are listed as Left Wing Extremism(LWE) commonly known as a naxalism affected districts wherein hesitancy in vaccination have been very challenging.

Private hospitals demand for procurement of vaccine on payment basis is very limited, wrote the state's additional chief secretary. As a matter of fact, only three private hospitals in the state ordered for vaccines in the earlier scheme of vaccination for the age cohort of 18 -44 years that too in minimum quantity and had to struggle to utilise the available stock of vaccine. (ANI)

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