The second wave of Covid-19 grappling India is proving manifold lethal for its patients as the death rate has remained higher from its previous episode.
Meanwhile, the situation is frightening in the country’s national capital as the city continues to battle for life-saving measures such as hospital beds, medical oxygen and essential drugs.
Amid this, the Delhi government has flagged the paucity of vaccine doses in the city. The government officers revealed that the current stock will not sustain more than a week.
The government sources told The Statesman that the current vaccine stock will be over by May 15, if it’s not replenished before.
“We are facing immense constraint in utilizing the vaccine stock. If the current rate of vaccination is accounted for, our stock will be over in the next nine days, unless it’s replenished,” a senior government official on the condition of anonymity said.
The officials have also conveyed the scarcity of doses to the Centre, The Statesman has learnt.
The officials also said that the scarcity enhanced after Delhi opened vaccination for all the people aged above 18 on May 3.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also expressed concerns over the short supply of Covid-19 vaccines, even as he asserted that with the current infrastructure in place, the entire population of Delhi can be vaccinated in three months if supply is scaled up.
“In the coming days, we will need a large scale supply of vaccines. The latest consignment we have received is not a large one. With the established procedures in place, we can scale up (the vaccination drive) in 24 hours. But there is a shortage of vaccine production. If production and supply are scaled up, we are capable of vaccinating the entire population of Delhi. Right now, the only obstacle is a short supply of vaccines,” he said.
The country has embarked on the third leg of vaccination since May 1 where people aged between 18 and 44 are now eligible to receive the jab against Covid-19.
While vaccination of people aged over 45 years was underway at around 500 sites in Delhi in the second phase of immunisation against Covid-19, the drive was opened at 301 additional sites scattered across all 11 revenue districts in the city for people aged between 18 and 44 years.
The government records (revised electoral rolls in January) state that around 15 million adults are expected to receive the vaccine doses. It translates to 30 million doses which Delhi would require population for full immunisation against Covid-19.
The official figures suggest that the city has been inoculating around 80,000 doses since the third phase of Covid-19 immunisation began.