This article is from Jun 01, 2021

Central Govt’s politics in the vaccine distribution! Is TN being victimized?

A series of allegations have surfaced that the central government’s discriminating in providing vaccines to states. Tamil Nadu is going to face a vaccination shortage for the next few days.

“There are only 5 lakh vaccines in stock in the state… it will be completed in two days, so the vaccination work in Tamil Nadu may be suspended, ”the Health Minister said at a press conference yesterday. He added, “While Tamil Nadu was supposed to get 25 lakh vaccines… but, only 13 lakh have been provided by the Central Government. Thus there is a lack of vaccination in districts like Thanjavur and Thiruvarur. We informed the Central Government  about this situation. ”   

Approximately 3 lakh people in Tamil Nadu are currently affected by corona, with an average of approximately 30 thousand people being affected per day, the government of Tamil Nadu has implemented a curfew to control the disease. State governments are frustrated that there is not enough vaccine at the moment as people head towards the vaccination camps as vaccines are the only way to recover from this corona infection as they already lose income and completely paralyze business and daily life because of this.

What is happening in vaccine distribution? 

Why is Tamil Nadu so backwards in vaccination? Why did we come to the point of suspending the vaccination process? We will look at the following reports with a view to clarifying such questions.

Adequate vaccinations have not been allocated domestically, production has started late and the central government has sown a severe shortage of vaccines in all the states in India at present due to poor management from the very beginning as it has distributed vaccines in unified quantities abroad. 

Vaccine distribution in India is entirely under the control of the Central Government. The central government has so far remained silent on the demands of many state governments to act arbitrarily and purchase vaccines.       

Not all of these vaccines are provided free of charge by the central government. According to the guidelines laid down by the Government of India, vaccine manufacturers are required to sell 50 per cent of their production to the Central Government and the remaining 50 per cent to state governments and private hospitals at pre-determined prices. Vaccines for 18- to 44-year-olds must be purchased by the respective state governments. But it is up to the central government to decide how much to buy!  

The total number of vaccines provided by the Central Government to Tamil Nadu is 96 lakhs. 91 lakh of which was used. Previously, vaccine wastage in Tamil Nadu is on average higher than in other states. As of May 3, the situation is up from 8.8%. This is the highest vaccine wastage after Lakshadweep. At present, that vaccine wastage has been largely controlled and reduced to 4.1%.

This aside, the data on vaccine distribution to Tamil Nadu is inconsistent compared to other states. The central government says it has been allocating vaccines to states based on population, vaccine handling and infection risk, but the data tells a different story. 

Currently, Tamil Nadu ranks second in India and Karnataka ranks first in terms of the number of people with high corona infection. Maharashtra has the highest death rate. However, when compared with other states the number of people currently affected there is less than in Tamil Nadu. 

The central government, which claims to provide vaccines on the basis of population and infection rate, has provided vaccines for 89 lakh people in Tamil Nadu, a state with a high population of 7.6 crores, and provided 1.7 crore vaccines in Rajasthan, a state with a population of almost the same TN population(data as on May 31). Even more shocking is the fact that the central government has provided 1.7 crore vaccines to Gujarat, a state with a mere 32,000 corona infections. Gujarat has a population of only 6.8 crores. 

In April and May, when the pandemic was most widespread in Tamil Nadu, the central government provided the lowest number of vaccines compared to other states. The number of vaccines given to Tamil Nadu on May 1 was 7.33 lakh while the number of vaccines given to Gujarat was 16 lakh while the state of Karnataka, which is currently the most infected, has received only 13 lakh vaccines.

The Tamil Nadu government has ordered 25 lakh vaccines for 18-44-year-olds. But only 13 lakh vaccines have been distributed to Tamil Nadu in May. A maximum of 21 lakh needles has been provided to Uttar Pradesh. (UP population 22.5 crore), and Gujarat has been given 16 lakh more needles than Tamil Nadu.   

At present, the central government has announced that nearly 12 crore vaccines will be available in June, of which 7.9 crores will be allocated to the states. Speaking at a press conference, Health Secretary Radhakrishnan said, “42 lakh vaccines are expected to arrive in the state in June. Already 1.74 lakh doses are due from the central government for the month of May. The first dose of the vaccine comes on the 6th of June. Due to this, the vaccine will not be given in Tamil Nadu from June 3 to June 6. As reported. 

While Tamil Nadu has so far been allotted the lowest number of vaccines, also the data on the number of vaccines for Tamil Nadu this June compared to other states is not yet specified.  





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