The leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge has warned that a slow pace of the vaccination drive could result in the impending third COVID-19 wave hitting the country sooner than later.
In a series of tweets, Kharge said that the “Govt led by PM @narendramodi claimed that it will fully vaccinate all adults by year end. For that, 80 lakh doses need to be given daily. Yet, only 34 lakh doses are being given daily. Thanks to Modi Govt’s failure, the 3rd wave may hit India very badly.”
He said the weekly pace of vaccination has declined to nearly 60% of what was seen in the week after June 21. “This has resulted in shortage of vaccines in several states, who are forced to shut down vaccination centres due to unavailability of stocks.” Kharge said Tamil Nadu has received only 1.67 crore doses of the two vaccines, against a demand of 11.5 crore doses. Maharashtra has administered 3.7 crore doses but the state government has passed a resolution demanding three crore doses per month to vaccinate enough people in the state.
“Several COVID vaccination centres in Telangana have run out of Covaxin doses. Kerala has the capacity to deliver 2.5-3 lakh doses per day but the huge supply-demand mismatch has reduced the pace of vaccination,” he said “24 of 30 districts have run out of vaccines in Odisha. Delhi’s vaccine stock is so low than 500 centres had to be closed due to shortage.” Moreover, the leader of opposition said lack of sufficient doses of the vaccines has forced Andhra Pradesh to prioritize giving the second dose to the beneficiaries due to receive it by limiting giving the first dose to certain group
Meanwhile, experts are worried that the Kanwar Yatra 2021 could become spreading ground for the third wave, like the Kumbh Mela triggered the second wave of coronavirus infections. Uttarakhand has decided to cancel the Kanwar Yatra after the Indian Medical Association said that holding such an event will have devastating impacts.
Gautam Menon, a professor of physics and biology at Ashoka University, who also works on modeling outbreaks, believes the recent spurt cannot be maintained because of the supply situation. “The single-day spike seems to have been the result of a concerted effort by some states, who may have stockpiled doses for this purpose. We would need to get to about 10 million doses per day to ensure that a future wave is less potent,” he told The Print.