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Vaccination drive in AP to face acute shortage of vaccine

Posted April 9th, 2021, 10:46 AM IST

Vaccination drive in AP to face acute shortage of vaccine

The much-hyped Vaccination Utsav, a four-day vaccination drive announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday may end up more of symbolic due to acute shortage of both Covaxin and Covishield vaccines, particularly in Andhra Pradesh.

Against the required 24 lakh doses for four days, the state as of now has only one lakh doses and the Centre has assured to dispatch two lakh more doses before the launch of the vaccination drive from Chennai. Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the officials to send an SOS to the Centre seeking adequate doses at the earliest.

Official sources told this correspondent that the Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan recently replied to the state’s request for adequate supplies stating that the Centre would provide one crore doses to cover all the 45 plus in the state. But in reality, the Centre with great difficulty may be able to arrange 10 lakh doses by end of April.

The Chief Minister held a review meeting with officials after the videoconference with the Prime Minister. During the four days, the Chief Minister wanted that at least 24 lakh people should be vaccinated, and directed authorities to arrange for enough vaccine supplies by coordinating with the Centre.

Home minister Mekathoti Sucharita, Chief Secretary Adityanath Das, DGP Gautam Sawang, special chief secretary Anil Kumar Singhal (medical and health) and Secretary Muddada Ravichandra (Covid-19 management and vaccination), health and medical commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar and other senior officials were present at the meeting.

Earlier, the Chief Minister urged the Union government to facilitate quick supply of more doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Andhra Pradesh as the existing stocks will exhaust soon. At present, the State machinery is vaccinating 1.4 lakh every day.

At the meeting that discussed Covid control measures and the Nadu-Nedu in the health department, the Chief Minister said all those aged above 45 have to be vaccinated in the next 30 days. He directed the authorities to take up the vaccination drive in rural areas too with same vigour.

The Chief Minister asked officials to take stern action against private hospitals fleecing the public in the name of Covid treatment. “Implement price fixation for the treatment and have strict supervision over the private hospitals,” he told the officials.

Jagan Mohan Reddy said the officials must focus on the three-pronged strategy of tracing, testing and treatment to check the pandemic’s spread. “Take action on those who are not wearing masks. Any infected person calling 104 for assistance should be provided with the necessary information, the bed status etc, and assist him/her with medical help. He said sanitation, doctors, paramedics, oxygen as well as medicines should be made available along with infrastructure facilities in every hospital.

The officials said 66 Covid-19 hospitals and 22 Covid-care centres are functional in the state. Besides these, over four lakh home isolation medicine kits were made available.

The Chief Minister said giving weightage in recruitments to those who worked during the Covid-19 spread season would be an encouraging gesture.