Gujarat: Vaccine, Booster Shortage Amid Renewed Demand for Jabs, Boosters

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Gujarat: Vaccine, Booster Shortage Amid Renewed Demand for Jabs, Boosters

| Updated: December 28, 2022 15:22

Despite India’s covid count still under control, the government is taking proactive measures to thwart any possible surge. The measures come in view of the recent Covid wave in China. Aggressive campaigning by the government on vaccination and booster doses has seen a renewed demand for the same. However, in Ahmedabad, many who flocked at healthcare centres returned disappointed because of inadequate stocks. 

“Against the usual 300 daily jabs till the second week of December, we suddenly saw the demand rise to 6,000. The requirement list has been sent to the state government,” shared an official from the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. 

The revised inventory submitted to the Central government has raised the numbers to 10 lakhs for Covishield and 2 lakh for Covaxin. “We faced a lot of wastage in the previous batches since the demand went down. Hence, we did not over stock. All cities and districts were provided with stocks as per requests. We have placed a renewed demand and are hopeful that people will turn up in large numbers,” an official from the health department explained the shortfall. 

On the whole, Gujarat has an overall coverage of about 36% for booster doses. In Vadodara, while Covaxin is available at most vaccination booths, there is a shortage of Covishield and Corbevax. The latter is used to vaccinate children in the 12-14 age group. According to Dr Devesh Patel at the Vadodara Municipal Corporation, the demand was unexpected and hence they were caught unawares. 

Similar reports of a shortage in vaccines and booster doses have been coming in from Rajkot and Surat. “We ran out of Covishield about 10 days ago and are currently left with 400 doses of Covaxin. Our revised list has sought 10,000 doses from the state government,” added an official from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation. Going by figures, only 23% of Rajkot’s eligible population has taken the booster dose so far.

The civic body in Surat reports being left with vaccines enough for a couple of days only. Following reports of the wave in China, the daily jab takers shot up from 500 to 2,500. The district’s health officials have placed an immediate request and are hopeful of stocks being replenished by this week end. 

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