Telangana receives 3 lakh doses of Covishield, stocks to last couple of days

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Telangana receives 3 lakh doses of Covishield, stocks to last couple of days

Telangana received 3 lakh doses of Covishield on Thursday amid the continuous shortage of COVID-19 vaccine for targeted groups. The vaccine doses reached Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) from the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune. The consignment was then shifted to the state vaccine centre in the city. Officials were making arrangements to transport the doses to various districts.

The doses arrived at a time when vaccination programmes in the state have been hit by the vaccine shortage. Many people were returning disappointed from vaccination centres. At some centres, heated arguments were seen between people and officials.

The fresh stock will last only for a couple of days as the state health authorities plan to vaccinate 1 to 1.5 lakh people every day.

Officials said that the state has no vaccines stocks for launching vaccination for people aged between 18 and 45 years from May 1.

Uncertainty prevailed over the launch of the third phase of vaccination due to lack of sufficient supplies. The authorities are currently focusing on vaccinating people above the age of 45, especially those due for the second dose.

In the meantime, Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender on Thursday lashed out against the Union government for its bungled vaccine programme. The Minister said Telangana began its vaccination drive believing the Centre. "See what has happened, we now don't have enough vaccines for administering the second dose." When asked about the state's vaccine strategy, the Minister said there was a requirement of 3.5 crore vaccines. "Only after we are sure we have enough vaccines with us for the first dose and second dose will we decide the strategy, " he added.

The Minister said that the Union government was yet to announce its vaccine strategy. "What is the Centre's plan? Are they planning to import from other countries? How much will be given to the states? A strategy needs to be made and shared with the states. The Centre needs to rework its strategy. It isn’t right to disown states at a time like this," said the Minister at a routine press meet.

(With PTI inputs)