The Centre on Wednesday assured the States that there would not be any shortage of Covid-19 shots as it opens up vaccinations to all above the age of 45, but cautioned that wastage has to be kept below one per cent, it said.
Till late on Tuesday, 6.31 crore vaccinations have been done. The numbers are expected to go up significantly from Thursday with a wider section of the population eligible to be covered.
Meanwhile, a subject expert committee advising the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Covid-19 vaccines is expected to meet on Thursday to review additional data on Russian vaccine Sputnik V, submitted by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which has tied up with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, for conducting trials as well as marketing it in India. DCGi is considering authorising Sputnik V for emergency use.
During a video conference meeting with State Health Secretaries, State Health Mission directors and State immunisation officers, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan urged the officials to identify pockets of low vaccination coverage, particularly in districts that are witnessing a surge in cases, and correct the situation, an official statement said.
As many as 47 districts across several States are seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases of late.
The Centre particularly wanted all eligible healthcare workers and frontline workers in these areas identified and registered for the vaccination. It also wanted the States to archive all incorrect and duplicate entries on the Co-WIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Work) portal.
During the meeting, which was also attended by National Health Authority CEO RS Sharma, Bhushan also asked the States to reduce the vaccine wastage from the present 6 per cent to 1 per cent and undertake distribution based on consumption to avoid overstocking.
Sharma, on the other hand, said there is no problem in the storage and logistics of vaccines. He also told the States that there was no point in conserving vaccines for the second dose, and urged them to promptly supply vaccines to all government and private hospitals where there is demand.
Meanwhile, a total of 53,480 people tested positive for novel coronavirus on Tuesday, taking the total active case-load in India to more than 5.5 lakh. Maharashtra reported 27,918 new cases, which together with seven other States witnessing a Covid surge, accounted for 85 per cent of the new cases reported on Tuesday.