The Telangana government on Sunday announced the suspension of its statewide Covid-19 vaccine drive for those above 45 years of age wanting to get the second shot.
In a circular issued by the K Chandrashekhar Rao government late on Sunday, beneficiaries were told that the state was facing an acute scarcity of doses and the stock allotted by the Centre was inadequate.
“In view of inadequate stock of Covaxin and non-receipt of fresh stocks from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare the second dose drive for persons above 45 years of age is postponed,” the order stated.
There was no indication of when the drive was expected to resume.
The state government has already suspended the vaccination of the first dose and did not even start the inoculation for people between 18 and 44 years of age due to scant stocks. The move has left lakhs distressed as the stipulated time period for Covaxin, which is being produced by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech is four to six weeks, while that for Serum Institute’s Covishield was recently increased to 12-16 weeks by the Central expert panel.
According to the state government data, at least 45 lakh people are due for the second dose of both vaccines.
This comes on a day when the Delhi government also sounded a similar SOS. It said that it has only one day of Covaxin stock left for those aged above 45, healthcare and frontline workers, while Covishield doses for this category can last up to five days.
The total count of coronavirus cases in Telangana crossed 5.28 lakh on Sunday as the state added 3,816 anew while the toll stood at 2955 with 27 more casualties. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 668, followed by Rangareddy 326 and Medchal Malkajgiri 293, a government bulletin said.