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Vaccine scarcity hits city, districts, sparks uproar

Troubles were reported at different vaccination centres at SSKM Hospital, Haroa rural hospital and several other centres across districts when a large number of beneficiaries were denied vaccines after waiting in long queues since Sunday. “Around 70 lakh vials of Covishield are expected to be supplied by the Centre in different phases during this month.”

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

As the vaccine supply crisis grows acute, incidents of confusion and disarray over inoculation at various vaccination centres are increasing in the city and districts.

Today, troubles were reported at different vaccination centres at SSKM Hospital, Haroa rural hospital and several other centres across districts when a large number of beneficiaries were denied vaccines after waiting in long queues since Sunday. Chaos ensued at SSKM Hospital’s vaccination centres today when police allegedly cancelled the list of beneficiaries who were waiting in the queue since Sunday evening.

The beneficiaries deprived of vaccine alleged, “Police cancelled the list of beneficiaries prepared last night by us who were in the line. As a result, people who came today and waited in the line got vaccinated.” This made the deprived beneficiaries violent and aggrieved caused tension inside the SSKM Hospital complex. Police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.

A similar incident of law and order trouble had also happened at the SSKM vaccination centre last Monday when many beneficiaries were denied vaccines. At Haroa, a rural hospital vaccination centre in North 24 Parganas district, more than 1,000 people were seen waiting in the long queue
since Sunday to get vaccinated.

But the local administration decided to give vaccines to only 200 beneficiaries at the centre. Last week, incidents of violence between a section of vaccine-takers and authorities at the respective vaccination centres at several government hospitals like NRS Medical College, Baranagar State General Hospital and ESI Hospital at Maniktala were also reported owing to scarcity in supply of vaccines.

Sources in the health department said, “Around 70 lakh vials of Covishield are expected to be supplied by the Centre in different phases during this month. But this consignment is not adequate enough to speed up the immunisation programme against novel coronavirus in the state. ”

Last week, Trinamul Congress MPs had protested in the Parliament against the inadequate supply of vaccines to Bengal. According to the health ministry’s report on the statewide distributions of Covid vaccines tabled in the Parliament on Friday, five states including Gujarat and Karnataka have been given vaccines more than Bengal which has higher populations than the other two states.