Tamil Nadu Health and Family Welfare Minister Ma Subramanian said on Wednesday that the state will provide Covaxin shots only for those getting their second dose, The Indian Express reported.
Covaxin, an indigenous vaccine against the novel coronavirus, has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Subramanian told reporters on Wednesday that the Tamil Nadu government has received 39,08,250 doses of Covaxin and has administered 36,31,545 doses so far. The state government has told the Centre that it will need another 4 lakh doses of Covaxin to meet the requirements of those who need to get their second shot of the vaccine.
A total of at least 3.94 lakh people could not take their second dose of Covaxin within the Indian Council of Medical Research’s recommended time frame of six weeks from their first dose, according to The Hindu.
Subramanian said on Wednesday that there is no shortage of Covishield vaccines, as the gap between two doses is 84 days.
The state health minister said that the state has given coronavirus vaccines to a total of 2.7 crore people since the beginning of the inoculation drive in January, The New Indian Express reported. The government currently has 8,89,877 vaccine doses and expects to receive 27 lakh more shots from the Union government by the end of August, he added.
Subramanian added that 2,03,07,691 people in the state have received their first dose, while 48,58,628 people have been administered the second dose. A total of 2,74,011 pregnant women and 1,95,934 lactating mothers have also been given their vaccine shots, he said.
The health minister also announced that a genome sequencing laboratory to detect Covid-19 variants will begin operations at the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services campus in Chennai in the next 10 to 15 days, according to The Indian Express.
Equipment worth Rs 3 crore has been bought for this lab and five technicians have been sent for training to the Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine, Bengaluru, the minister added. The laboratory would enable the government to detect new variants of Sars-CoV-2 – the virus that causes the coronavirus disease.
India has approved five vaccines for emergency use so far – Serum Institute’s Covishield, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, Russia’s Sputnik V, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot. For now, only Covishield and Covaxin are being used in India’s vaccination programme.
India has vaccinated a total of 56,64,88,433 people till now, as per data from the health ministry.