The Health ministry has claimed that some states are reporting much higher wastage than the national average of 6.3 per cent.
After Oxygen and shortage of vaccines, the alleged wastage of vaccines has turned into the latest battleground between the states and the Centre. The fresh flashpoint came after data released by the Ministry of Health yesterday claimed that Jharkhand has wasted 37.3 per cent of vaccines, Chhattisgarh 30.2%, Tamil Nadu 15.5%, Jammu and Kashmir 10.8%, and Madhya Pradesh 10.7% of the vaccines provided to them. The Health ministry claimed that these states are reporting much higher wastage than the national average of 6.3 per cent. It urged the states to keep vaccine wastage below 1 per cent.
Reacting to the remarks, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel alleged that the Centre is doing politics and it should not give such misleading reports. “All our reports are going to them. Those who go for vaccination without registering on CoWIN are being deemed by them to be cases of vaccine wastage,” he said.
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Baghel said that there has been 0.6 per cent vaccine wastage in the 45+ category, around 0.8 per cent vaccine wastage in the 18+ category. He claimed that the Centre is not taking into consideration the data uploaded on the Chhattisgarh government’s ‘CGTeeka’ portal.
Chhattisgarh Principal Secretary of Health Department claimed that the Centre’s data is incorrect and the state has written to them to resolve the issues.
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that the state doesn’t have vaccines in the first place. “The supply that is being made to us is not at par with our demand. It is a matter of concern. It is a ‘hand to mouth’ situation for us almost every day,” he said, adding that there is only 1-2 per cent vaccine wastage. “We won’t let it get wasted to an extent where the vaccines would reach their expiry date. It is a different matter if there is needle breakage. There is no vaccine wastage like that,” said the health minister.
Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta also claimed that the state’s vaccine wastage percentage is 4.65 and not 37 per cent as reported by the Union Health ministry. “There is no factual basis in it, it’s misleading publicity. Our wastage is less than other states,” said Gupta. He also claimed that the state’s current stock of vaccines will be consumed in a day or two.
Jharkhand Chief Minister’s Office also clarified that the current vaccine wastage proportion is only 4.65%. “Vaccination data could not be fully updated to the central CoWin Platform due to technical difficulties and the updation work is in the process,” said the CMO.
Haryana Health Department also claimed that there was a data mismatch after a higher wastage was attributed to it. “We have corrected vaccine wastage data from 6 per cent, as per data recently released by the Central government, to 2-3 per cent. Vaccine wastage percentage was relatively higher in the data released by the Centre as there was data mismatch and the districts have rectified it,” said the state government in a statement.
The statement added that the data released by the Centre showed Haryana had a 6% Covieshield vaccine wastage and 10.2% Covaxin wastage. “Health Department swung into action, identified data mismatch and corrected it to Covishield wastage at 3.1% and Covaxin wastage at 2.4%,” added the statement.
On the other hand, Rajasthan Health Minister Dr Raghu Sharma said that the state doesn’t have enough vaccines. “For June, GoI has allotted 12.66 lakh vaccines. With this combined quota, it won’t be possible to vaccinate 3.25 crore beneficiaries as double dose and wastage makes vaccine requirement nearly 7 crore,” said Sharma.
India has so far administered 20,17,59,768 doses of COVID vaccines which includes single and double doses as well.