Andhra Pradesh stares at a severe vaccine shortage

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According to data from the CoWIN portal (April 6), the vaccine coverage was 26.70 lakh for Covishield and 6 lakh for Covaxin.

Less than a week after Prime Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the mass vaccination campaign in the community / village secretariats, the state is facing a severe shortage of vaccines.

According to available data, Covaxin doses were only 1.38 lakh and Covishield 3.06 lakh on April 6, raising new concerns about the availability of the vaccine.

While Mr Jagan had already raised concerns about vaccine shortages at a high-level meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of Health and Family Planning, Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas told reporters that about 2 lakh doses of vaccine would arrive by Saturday and another day of cans would arrive in the coming week.

Andhra Pradesh is one of the highly infected states with a case-positive rate of 5.98, behind Kerala (8.46) and Maharashtra (15.10), but concerns about vaccine shortages in rising case numbers are alarming.

According to data from the CoWIN portal (April 6), the vaccine coverage was 26.70 lakh for Covishield and 6 lakh for Covaxin. The vaccine supply was 28.30 lakh for Covishield and 7.07 lakh for Covaxin, while the waste was 5.66% for Covishield and 15.08% for Covaxin.

New concerns about the lack of vaccines at the time of vaccination with the second dose are fueling fear. While 28.17 lakh beneficiaries were vaccinated with the first dose, only 4.52 lakh beneficiaries took the second dose.

Chittoor leads the first dose administration at 2.82 lakh, followed by East Godavari (2.79 lakh doses), while Vizianagaram vaccinates the least 1.19 lakh.

Vulnerable group

The real concern, however, is the low coverage rate for the most vulnerable group of people over 60. Out of the goal of vaccinating 51.02 lakh over 60 years, only 11.71 lakh seniors received the first dose, while 18,333 people received the second dose. The vaccine coverage in this category is only about 22%.

Vaccine coverage in the next at risk group (45 to 60 years old) is also not encouraging. Out of the goal of vaccinating 82.05 lakh, only 7.83 lakh (45 to 60 years old) received the first dose, while 9,027 people received the second dose and vaccine coverage is only about 9%.

In contrast, vaccine coverage by frontline workers is encouraging at 58.63%. Thanks to institutional support, the front line workers in the government received two doses of vaccine. With the aim of vaccinating 7.18 lakh workers, 5.85 lakh workers took the shot. The goal of vaccinating healthcare workers was also achieved with coverage of over 70%.

Anantapur and Kurnool districts have just enough supplies for two days of Covishield and Covaxin. More than 50% of private hospitals eligible to run the vaccination program have been deactivated in the past four days because supplies of Covaxin have completely dried up and Covieshield is enough to maintain the current rate for just two days. Several private hospitals have turned away the people who turned to them about the vaccine.

In Chittoor District, a senior official from the District Medical and Health Office (DMHO) said the entire vaccine inventory would be empty by Friday and that new stocks were expected in the next few days.

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