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COVID-19 Vaccines | Centre discriminating against Maharashtra by allotting fewer doses: Rajesh Tope

In response, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan lashed out at Maharashtra and some other states, accusing them of trying to cover their "failures" by making "irresponsible" statements and spreading panic among people.

April 08, 2021 / 04:10 PM IST
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on April 7 said that Maharashtra had 14 lakh doses of the COVID-19 vaccine which would last only three days, and many inoculation centres were being closed due to the shortage of the vaccine (Representative Image)

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on April 7 said that Maharashtra had 14 lakh doses of the COVID-19 vaccine which would last only three days, and many inoculation centres were being closed due to the shortage of the vaccine (Representative Image)

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has alleged that the Centre is discriminating against the state by providing fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses despite the daily surge in cases.

"According to the latest release order of vaccines from the Centre, Maharashtra has only been given 7.5 lakh vaccine doses while Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana have been given far more vaccines," Tope told ANI.

Maharashtra has witnessed a steep rise in the daily COVID-19 cases accounting for 84.21 percent of the 126,789 new infections, the health ministry said on April 8. The state reported the highest daily new cases at 59,907 on April 7.

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Tope said that he has raised the issue with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. "He assured me that corrections will be done soon. We are still waiting. We want 1.6 crore vaccine doses per month and 40 lakh every week because we are vaccinating 6 lakh people every day," Tope said.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The state health minister further said that the vaccine shortage is such that vaccination drive had to be stopped in the districts of Satara, Sangli and Panvel, Buldhana only has a day's stock left.

Also Read | Maharashtra COVID-19 situation 'grim', Centre has assured help: Sharad Pawar

Tope on April 7 said that Maharashtra had 14 lakh doses of the COVID-19 vaccine which would last only three days, and many inoculation centres were being closed due to the shortage of the vaccine.

Tope said people coming to such centres for taking jabs were being sent back as there was no supply of vaccine doses.

Also Read | Facing shortage of doses, urge Centre to speed up supply: Tope

In response, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan lashed out at Maharashtra and some other states, accusing them of trying to cover their "failures" by making "irresponsible" statements and spreading panic among people.

In a strongly-worded statement, the union minister rubbished the Maharashtra government's claim of shortage of vaccines as "utterly baseless", and said the "lackadaisical" attitude of the state government has "singularly bogged down" the entire country's efforts to fight the virus.

"The inability of the Maharashtra government to act responsibly is beyond comprehension. To spread panic among the people is to compound the folly further. Vaccine supplies are being monitored on a real-time basis, and state governments are being apprised regularly about it. Allegations of vaccine shortage are utterly baseless," he said.

Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak
Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 8, 2021 04:10 pm

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