Delhi faces COVID-19 vaccine shortage, many fear delay in getting second shot

New Delhi: Government-run COVID-19 vaccination centres across the national capital are facing vaccination shortages, especially of Covishield, and several people are worried that they are going to miss their scheduled date for the second shot.

The scenario in Delhi started to worsen from July 12, with many centres asking people not to come till further informed. The country had just recovered from the previous vaccine shortage with the implementation of the Centre’s new free universal vaccination policy.

As per the Delhi government’s daily bulletin, as many as 62,04,600 doses of Covidshield and 22,88,780 doses of COVAXIN have been received from the Central government so far.

An average of 61.14 lakh vaccine doses were given across the country between June 21 to 27, as per the Centre’s Co-Win portal. However, between July 5 to 11, the daily average doses plummeted to 34.32 lakh.

Centres that have closed in the last few days due to the shortage include NDMC near Bengali market, Ishani Govt Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Navyug school at Pandara Park, Anglo Arabic Sr. Secondary at Ajmeri gate, Guru Govind Singh school at Deputy Gunj, Sarvodaya Vidyalaya at Mori gate, GBSSS at Rajouri Garden, Tihar Jail Gate no 6, SDMC school No 4 in Tilak Nagar, CGSH at Paschim Vihar and Govt Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya at Naraina.

While speaking to ANI, people expressed concerns and irritation that despite repeated visits to inoculation centres, they have been told to go back without a dose.

“I have been coming here for the last three days to get my second shot. It was due 10 days ago but now they are saying there is no vaccine. They are not even giving me an assured date. The same scenario has cropped up once again. How long shall we wait to get shots?” said 78-year-old Daroga Rai.

Another woman, Savita, who came to get her first dose at Govt Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in Naraina said, “We have been told that vaccines are not available. The scenario has been like this for the last three days. Moreover, they are not even telling us when to come next. How we will get to know? No matter what, commoners suffer.”

A security guard outside a vaccination centre, on the condition of anonymity, told ANI that vaccines were not available at the moment and beneficiaries will be informed when they get more doses. “We have been asked to tell people that vaccines are not available now and will be informed once this centre has fresh stock,” the guard said.

As per the Union health ministry, as many as 89,37,940 vaccine doses have been administered in Delhi so far, including 68,43,441 first doses and 20,94,499 second doses.

According to Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, about 1.5 lakh Covishield vaccines were received last night, and are likely to be used up by tomorrow.

“Vaccine availability is low. We had received 1.5 lakh Covishield vaccines yesterday, which will be used up by tomorrow, after which centres will be closed. We have to repeatedly shut centres. We can’t work on Haryana’s model to save jabs,” Jain said.

Other states such as Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha are also experiencing shortages in COVID-19 vaccines.