COVID-19 Vaccine update

Andhra Pradesh receives 6 lakh additional COVID-19 vaccine doses a day after running out of the vaccine

Published : April 17, 2021 19:23 IST

Senior citizens waiting to be vaccinated in Visakhapatnam on April 16. Photo: K.R. Deepak

Officials pointed out that more doses of the vaccine will be sent to Guntur, Chittoor and Srikakulam districts, where the number of COVID-19 cases is high.

A day after running out of COVID-19 vaccine doses and with just 5,017 vaccinations administered, Andhra Pradesh received 6 lakh additional doses of the vaccine on April 17. Confirming the arrival of the vaccine doses, officials from the Andhra Pradesh Health, Medical and Family Welfare (HM&FW) Department told Frontline that the consignment consisted of at least five lakh doses of the Covishield vaccine from the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) and one lakh Covaxin doses from Hyderabad’s Bharat Biotech. The consignment was taken to the State’s Vaccine Store in Gannavaram and will be proportionately dispatched to the State’s 13 districts on April 18, depending on the severity of infection and number of cases in each district .

Officials pointed out that more doses of the vaccine will be sent to Guntur, Chittoor and Srikakulam districts, where the number of COVID-19 cases is high, while districts such as West Godavari, where the number of fresh cases is relatively low, will be given fewer vaccine doses. Andhra Pradesh has administered 46,06,806 COVID-19 vaccine doses until April 17.

The Centre’s decision to dispatch the 6 lakh doses comes a day after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him for 60 lakh additional doses. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s contention is that Andhra Pradesh needs another 60 lakh doses of the vaccine if it is to ensure that all citizens in the State above the age of 45 years are vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine during the next three weeks.

The shortage of vaccines over the past two days has resulted in the State administering just 25,651 doses on April 15 and 5,017 on April 16. This comes after a record 6,25,815 vaccine doses were administered on April 14. Making adequate use of its secretariat, or grassroots governance system, and armed with an army of Asha (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers, ANM (auxiliary nurse midwife) staff and village volunteers, Andhra Pradesh says it is all geared up to execute its avowed one million vaccinations target.

Thanking Narendra Modi for the supply of 6 lakh doses, Jagan Mohan Reddy said that Andhra Pradesh was able to vaccinate a record number of 6,25,815 persons on Wednesday as part of Narendra Modi’s “Tika Utsav”. Wrote Jagan Mohan: “This is the highest single day COVID vaccination number by any State in the country.”

The Chief Minister maintained that mass vaccinations were the only permanent solution to the pandemic, but lamented the fact that it was not in the State’s hands as the Centre was controlling the entire process of procuring and distributing the vaccine doses. He said: “Be it production of the vaccine or its distribution… the Centre is the total regulatory authority. Our government is making all efforts so that the maximum number of people could be vaccinated.”

In the past, the Chief Minister has said that States should be allowed to procure vaccine doses directly from the vaccine manufacturers.

As of April 17, Andhra Pradesh continues to have a high confirmed per million (CPM) rate of 18,158, that is, 18,158 out of every 10 lakh people in Andhra Pradesh have tested positive for the virus. India presently has a CPM of 10,900.