Covid vaccine shortage: Andhra to appeal to Centre on expediting supply of 1 crore doses

AMARAVATI: The Andhra Pradesh government is sending an SOS to the Centre seeking immediate supply of at least one crore doses of the coronavirus vaccine as the current stock available in the state would last no more than two days.

The state currently has just three lakh doses of the vaccine while on an average 1.4 lakh people were being inoculated per day, health department officials told Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy during a review meeting here on Thursday.

There were over one crore people above 45 years in the state to be inoculated but shortage of vaccine has become a cause for concern.

The Chief Minister, however, directed that all these people be administered the vaccine within a month.

A release from the CMO said the Chief Minister directed the health authorities to speak to Central government officials and ensure required supply of vaccine doses to the state.

“Vaccination is the only way to prevent Covid-19. Everybody needs to be vaccinated as per the Centre’s guidelines,” the Chief Minister told the health officials.

He wanted them to work with a target of vaccinating four lakh people in rural and two lakh in urban areas per day.

Jagan also asked them to create awareness among people on vaccination and utilise the services of ASHA workers and village volunteers for the purpose.

“You need to focus more sharply on the vaccination drive. Only then will the programme be successful,” the Chief Minister remarked.

Reviewing the spurt in Covid-19 cases, the Chief Minister wanted focus on testing, tracing and treating.

“Ensure that Covid-19 patients are treated well without having to spend even a rupee.

Also, make sure that the private hospitals charge only the fixed rates and do not fleece the hapless patients,” he said.

“AP suffered a financial loss of Rs 21,000 crore due to the pandemic last year. If the situation leads to a fresh lockdown, our financial system will be fully damaged,” Jagan warned.

The Chief Minister directed the officials to see that such a situation did not arise.

Education and awareness among people on Covid-19 prevention and containment should be enhanced, he added.

Deputy Chief Minister (Health) A K K Srinivas (Nani), state Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das, Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal, Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar and other officials attended.