TN vaccine shortage: Chennai, Coimbatore camps halted

Covid-19 vaccine shortage in Tamil Nadu; camps suspended in Chennai, Coimbatore

People in some other districts who turned up at the centres were greeted with 'no stock' boards

Health Minister Ma Subramanian said the state has utilised all vaccine doses sent by the Union Government. Credit: PTI Photo

After a smooth run for over two weeks, the Covid-19 vaccination drive in Tamil Nadu took a hit in many districts, including in Chennai and Coimbatore, on Monday due to vaccine shortage. The vaccination drive, which was slow in the first few months, picked up pace in mid-May with the state administering at least 2 lakh doses a day in the past few weeks.

The vaccination drive was suspended in Chennai, Coimbatore, and a few other districts where people who turned up at the centres were greeted with “no stock” boards. The civic bodies in the aforementioned two cities announced that they have run out of Covid-19 vaccine stocks on their official websites saying the drive will resume only when they have stock.

In Chennai, the drive was suspended in 45 vaccination centers and at 19 urban Primary Health Care Centers, though vaccines were administered to advocates at the Madras High Court premises as part of a special drive.

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Health Minister Ma Subramanian said the state has utilised all vaccine doses sent by the Union Government and that the vaccination drive can resume only after fresh stocks arrive. He also said it was unfortunate that vaccines are not available when people are willing to take their jabs.

“Everyone in Tamil Nadu including those in villages and tribal areas are ready to get vaccinated but we have a situation of vaccine shortage. We have so far received 1.44 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses and administered 1.41 crore doses. What is left is just 2-lakh odd doses. And from Monday afternoon we will be left with no vaccines,” Subramanian said.

Hours later, a message from the Directorate of Public Health (DPH) said 2 lakh doses of Covishield will arrive at the Chennai airport on Monday evening. However, officials said 2 lakh doses were not enough to be sent across the state.

The vaccination drive in Tamil Nadu picked up after the state government opened up vaccination for those in the age group of 18-44. The state has also launched special vaccination camps for differently abled, construction workers, sports men, and lawyers besides reaching out to the rural masses as part of the drive.

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