GUWAHATI, JULY 1: The BJP-led Assam Government could vaccinate only 16.63 lakh people in the last 10 days, almost 45% less than Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s target of inoculating 30 lakh people, due to a massive shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, a senior Health official said on Thursday.
As per the daily COVID-19 bulletin issued by the National Health Mission under the State Health Department, a total of 16,63,405 people were inoculated across the State from June 21 to June 30. This figure is way below the ambitious 30-lakh target set during Sarma’s meeting with all the stakeholders of the districts on June 19.
“This is a part of our Enhanced Immunisation Drive. From June 21, we shall be targeting 3 lakh vaccinations daily till June 30”, the Chief Minister had said in a press meet after reviewing preparations with the districts. According to the NHM data, the Government could touch the daily target of 3 lakh vaccines only on 2 days June 21 (3,30,667 jabs) and June 23 (3,60,315 jabs). The State Government could vaccinate more than 2 lakh people on 1 day, 1 lakh on 4 days and less than 1 lakh in 3 days, a compilation of the bulletins showed.
The Health Department even witnessed one of the lowest vaccination figures till now ~ 14,551 doses on June 30, NHM said. The administration vaccinated 3,30,667 people on June 21, 2,84,643 on June 22, 3,60,315 on June 23, 1,79,595 on June 24, 1,66,934 on June 25, 1,52,956 on June 26, 19,924 on June 27, 1,08,623 on June 28, 45,197 on June 29 and 14,551 on June 30, it said. When contacted, NHM Mission Director Lakshmanan S told PTI that the supply of COVID-19 vaccines dropped after 3 days of commencement of the Enhanced Immunisation Drive on June 21, leading to a lower number of vaccinations.
“During the first 3 days, we had enough vaccines and inoculated more than 9.75 lakh people. However, the numbers went down as we did not get enough supplies”, he said. Initially, there was a short supply of only Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, but later the availability of Covishield by the Serum Institute of India also became an issue, Lakshmanan said.
“Yesterday, we got 6 lakh doses of Covishield. We immediately distributed these to the districts. So, you will see the vaccination numbers rising again in the next 3 days. However, we do not have any idea when we will get the next supply in the coming 15 days”, he said. The NHM Mission Director also said that the Government had prepared more than 2,000 centres to achieve the daily target of vaccinating 3 lakh people, but many of them became inactive after supply declined. (PTI)