Jaipur: Rajasthan has sought immediate supply of 60 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines from the centre as the state’s stock will run out by Wednesday, health minister Raghu Sharma said on Tuesday.
In view of the short supply, the state slowed down the pace of vaccination on Tuesday, giving the jab only to those who were due for their second dose. The state is also witnessing a rise in coronavirus cases in past few weeks. On Monday., 179 Covid-19 cases were reported in the state, taking the total number to 3,21,711. The total number of deaths recorded is 2789 and the number of active cases stands at 1883.
Speaking to media persons outside the assembly, Sharma said Rajasthan has been administering 2.5 lakh doses of vaccines per day and is left with 5.85 lakh doses. He said the state does not have enough doses for 67 lakh beneficiaries and has asked for 60 lakh more doses.
Rajasthan accounts for 25 percent of the total vaccinations carried out in the country till March 9, said Sharma.
“We are on top spot in the country in terms of the inoculation drive. Of the total vaccines given Rajasthan, we gave 21 lakh doses to the Army. Till now, 22 lakh beneficiaries in the state have been vaccinated,” he said.
Sharma said he spoke to March 5 to Niti Aayog member Dr VK Paul on March 5 and requested that a buffer stock of the vaccines be sent to Rajasthan.
“I told him that the state has vaccine stock till Tuesday and if we are not given vaccines immediately, the drive will stop. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot also spoke to Dr Paul,” he said.
Sharm said he also spoke to union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and the chief secretary has spoken to the cabinet secretary in this regard.
“We had asked for 60 lakh doses of vaccines for March to continue inoculating beneficiaries. If we do not get the vaccine supply, how will we continue the drive? It could stop mid-way. But we were told to slow down the vaccination drive,” Sharma said.
The pace of inoculation has picked up as Rajasthan launched the second phase of the vaccination drive from March 1 to inoculate those above 60 years and those above 45 years with co-morbidities. The Covishield and Covaxin shots are being given free of cost in government hospitals and for Rs250 in private hospitals.
Sharma said vaccines have been re-distributed to meet shortfall in some districts such as Jaipur, Alwar, Nagaur, Jhunjhunu, Bundi, Jhalawar and Karauli.