Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday alleged to have received less COVID-19 vaccines. The state has received a total of 9,83,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, of which 9,63,000 have come from the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) and the remaining from Bharat Biotech, said Rajesh Tope, state's Health Minister. "Maharashtra needs a total of 17.5 lakh vaccine doses, but we have been able to acquire 55 per cent of the required number as of now," he said.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has refuted these allegations and clarified that there is no question of discrimination against any state in the allocation of vaccine doses. The Ministry said, "Full initial procurement amount of 1.65 cr doses of Covishield & Covaxin vaccines allocated to all States/UTs in the proportion of health care workers database. There is no question of discrimination against any state in the allocation of vaccine doses."
"This is the initial lot of supply of vaccine doses and would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come. Therefore, any apprehension being expressed on account of deficient supply is totally baseless and unfounded," it added.
Besides, Maharashtra Health Minister Tope said that eight lakh health workers are to be vaccinated first and vaccine shots will be administered at 350 centres. Also, Tope assured everyone that the two vaccines are completely safe.
Tope expressed hope about receiving more consignment of vaccine doses in coming days. He said, "We will think on giving vaccine to critical patients on priority basis." He also cautioned that the vaccine might have minor side-effects.
Tope concluded saying, "There is no harm in allowing lawmakers to get vaccinated. But ethically speaking, first priority should be given to health and frontline workers." He requested all the registered health workers not to refrain from taking the vaccine dose.
(With ANI inputs)