Despite an able healthcare system in place, the state of Tamil Nadu has exhausted its supply of vaccines, the state health minister M Subramanian notified on Thursday.
Barring 1,060 vaccines in Chennai, all other districts have run out of vaccines in the state, M Subramanian said.
The data was revealed by the minister despite the Centre’s instructions against disclosing vaccine stocks to prevent people from standing in queues and waste their time.
“The Centre has said that it will send a consignment of 37 lakh vaccines out of which 6.5 lakh vaccines will be sent before June 13,” the health minister said adding that out of 37 districts, there are no vaccines in 36 other districts.
On June 1, Tamil Nadu had exhausted its vaccine supply and announced that it was suspending inoculation between June 2 and 5 but the Centre sent about 5-lakh vaccines on the evening of June 1 following which the vaccination drive was resumed again.
“We are told we will get about three-lakh Covishield vaccines tomorrow. If it arrives, we can continue vaccination for another two days, otherwise, we will have to halt the drive.” the health minister told Hindustan Times.
This unavailability of vaccines has caused Tamil Nadu to fall behind in the vaccine race. As per reports, Tami Nadu now features among the bottom five states in terms of vaccinating its population against Covid-19 along with UP, Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand. So far, the state has inoculated only nine per cent of its seven-crore population with the first dose of the vaccine.
Between January and February, Tamil Nadu administered only 4.57 lakh doses, the rate of which rose by more than 5 times in March, and nearly seven times in May, NDTV reported. Health authorities have attributed such poor show of numbers to the initial vaccine hesitancy in the state.
Subramanian said that chief minister Stalin has requested PM Modi to allocate more vaccines to Tamil Nadu considering the rapid spread of the infection and its population.
Tamil Nadu has so far received 1,01,63,000 vaccines out of which a total of 97,62,957 have been administered.