Union Health Minister tears into Maharashtra govt, phrases allegations of Covid vaccine scarcity ‘utterly baseless’


In a strongly-worded assertion, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Wednesday responded to the Maharashtra authorities request to the Centre to ship in extra shares of Covid-19 vaccine.

Vardhan alleged that the move an try and cowl Maharashtra’s “failure” and to unfold panic amongst folks by demanding vaccination of all with out inoculating sufficient of eligible beneficiaries.

“Vaccine supplies are being monitored on a real-time basis, and State governments are being apprised regularly about it. Allegations of vaccine shortage are utterly baseless,” he stated.

Maharashtra on Wednesday stated that the state was operating in need of Covid vaccines, particularly in city centres, and urged the Centre to ship in extra shares. The state stated it had 13 lakh doses of Covaxin and Covishield in inventory, which based on its estimates will probably be exhausted in three days.

The well being minister additionally reacted to the calls for of political leaders together with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal’s request to open up vaccination to everybody above the age of 18.

“Nonetheless, it bears repeating that the primary aim of vaccination is to reduce mortality among the most vulnerable people, and enable the society to beat the pandemic,” he stated.

“So long as the supply of vaccines remains limited, there is no option but to prioritize. This is also the established practice around the world, and is well known to all State governments,” he added.

Further itemizing out vaccination statistics amongst frontline staff in Delhi and Maharashtra, Vardhan stated, “Doesn’t it seem evident that these states are trying to divert attention from their poor vaccination efforts by just continuously shifting the goal-posts? Politicizing such a public health issue is a damning indictment of certain political leaders who should know better.”.

“I would like to humbly state that it would be better if the state government focusses its energies on ramping up their health infrastructure rather than on petty politicking,” Vardhan stated whereas flagging “disproportionately higher number of deaths in the last 2-3 weeks” within the state.

Vardhan additionally stated that the state’s testing stays closely depending on fast antigen exams which isn’t a sensible technique.