Just as the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) was able to gather fresh stocks of Covaxin, it ran out of Covishield vaccines today, leading to the temporary shut down of 102 urban primary health centres (UPHC) and 50 mega centres.
Several people who were waiting outside the centres to get their doses of the Covishield vaccine today, returned dejected as they found the centres administering it closed, with notices of non-availability put up. The KMC has announced that its 102 UPHCs and 50 mega centres administering only Covishield will remain shut till stocks are replenished.
The civic body, however, has not specified when it can again start the process. A KMC official said that presently the civic body is uncertain as to when new stocks would arrive and hopes it does soon. Many who arrived at the Covishield mega centre at Elite cinema were found annoyed after coming to know its shut. The civic body realised it ran out of Covishield stock late last evening.
People who came to these centres were surprised to find it shut. The civic body but has informed that its 40 UPHCs administering Covaxin would continue with inoculations. KMC’s vaccination drive took a major blow today since it is Covishield doses that are being administered in large numbers than Covaxin. The KMC has only 39 Covaxin centres and the rest administer Covishield.
In July-end the KMC had run out of Covaxin doses which had jolted the inoculation programme as many who were due to get their second doses, ran from pillar to post looking for it. Currently, the civic body requires about 35,000 Covishield doses each day for its UPHCs and mega centres to keep running.
A KMC health department official said if supplies keep running out so frequently, it will be difficult to cope with a probable third wave. The centre needs to supply adequate vaccines to ensure the pace of vaccination must remain unaffected. The chief minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday for the supply of more vaccines.
She said, “West Bengal needs around 14 crore doses of a vaccine to cover the entire population but it has received only 2.68 crore doses so far from the central government”. According to Miss Banerjee, the state has administered 3.08 crore doses till now, of which 2.20 crore people have been administered with the first dose and 88.93 lakh with the second dose.