Telangana stops second dose of Covaxin due to shortage

Hyderabad: The Telangana government has temporarily suspended the distribution of Covaxin for people above 45 due to shortage of vaccines.

The announcement came on Sunday from the office of the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare that they are suspending distribution of Covaxin in view of inadequate stock of the vaccine.

According to Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao, not enough stocks are available and  fresh stocks have not been received from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Details regarding resumption of vaccination drive will be made available subsequently, he said.

The suspension comes at a time when the state has been focusing on the second dose for people above 45 years for over two weeks. The state has stopped administering the first dose for beneficiaries and has also not taken up vaccination for those above 18 years of age due to lack of sufficient supplies from the Union government.

Telangana, which claims to have the capacity to give 10 lakh vaccines every day, is administering 30,000 to 40,000 vaccines daily due to the shortage. On May 14, health authorities administered about 34,000 vaccines.

The state has so far given 56.25 lakh doses and a total of 11.37 lakh beneficiaries received the second dose. Meanwhile the allocation of Remdesvir injections has improved with the Union Health Ministry setting aside 2.15 lakh injections for the State between April 21 and May 23.

The increased allocation is expected to improve the availability of Remdesivir injection for COVID-19 positive patients. The state has already conveyed to the centre that to vaccinate people above 45 years of age, it requires 1.29 crore doses. The Chief Minister requested the Union government to supply 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh doses per day and also informed the centre that there is an urgent need for 13 lakh vaccines till the end of May.