Covid vaccine shortage grips Assam: Complete inoculation possible only by December
Guwahati: Assam’s ambitious aim to vaccinate everyone in the state within August 15 seemed to be a far distant dream as the state government on Friday said that with the current vaccination pace, the state can only finish vaccinating all by the end of this year.
In June, the state government has set a target of administering 3 lakh Covid-19 vaccines daily from June 21 (Monday) to June 30. The chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that by 15 August almost everyone in the state will receive the vaccine, at least the first dose.
However, the massive vaccination drive could not last long and with no supply from vaccines from the Centre, state government was forced to reduce the number of operational vaccination centres by 50% from the 2,000 CVCs (Covid vaccination centres).
On Friday, replying to a question of leader of opposition Debabrata Saikia, state’s health minister Keshab Mahanta informed that the state needed at least 4.62 crore Covid vaccines to inoculate everyone in the state.
The health minister replied, “Till June 30, 57, 90, 921 persons were given the first dose of Covid vaccine whereas 12, 30, 401 were administered with the second dose.”
He added that currently, the state has some 2 lakh vaccines in stock and will need another 3, 89, 78, 678 doses of vaccines.
The minister said, “The state health department can only finish inoculating everyone in the state with the double dose by December this year only if the state gets at least 7, 50, 000 vaccine doses monthly.”
Slamming the state government for the low rate of vaccination, Saikia said, “The state government has completely failed to keep up to its promises and saving precious lives. If the current vaccination speed continues, then it’s estimated that it will take over 900 more days to inoculate everyone in the state. Moreover, the state government has failed to clarify its stand to inoculate those under the age of 18 years in the state.”
In the state some 35 thousand children below 18 years have been infected with Covid virus in the second wave so far.