Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said that several vaccination centres in the city had to turn people away as authorities ran out of supplies on Friday, NDTV reported.
“There are several vaccination centers that have zero vaccines now and vaccination has stopped there,” Pednekar told reporters. She added that she was informed that about 76,000 to one lakh doses are about to reach Mumbai, but that she does not “have any official information on this”.
Mumbai has a total of 120 inoculation centres, which includes both private and public facilities. By Friday, about 71 of these ran out of vaccines, the channel quoted an official from the city’s civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, as saying.
Among them was a jumbo vaccination centre at the Bandra Kurla Complex, one of Mumbai’s most important commercial zones. “From day one we used to get vaccines a day ahead as buffer stock and until yesterday [Thursday], we got a sufficient number of vials,” Rajesh Dere, the dean of the centre, told NDTV. “Last night we were expecting to get today’s dose, but it has not come. Now, we have only 160 doses.”
At the remaining centres too, the situation was bleak and authorities said they were likely to suspend the vaccination drive by Friday afternoon or evening, as the available stocks were fast depleting, unidentified officials told PTI.
Other districts such as Satara, Sangli and Pavel in Maharashtra also complained of having to close inoculation centres due to a lack of supplies. On Thursday, the state government warned that it may be forced to halt vaccination for four to five days next week, if stocks are not replenished urgently.
Besides Maharashtra, at least five other states also flagged similar concerns. Odisha was forced to shut down 700 of its vaccination centres due to a scarcity of coronavirus vaccines.
However, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan rejected the claims in a statement on Wednesday, calling it “deplorable attempts” by state governments to distract attention from their failures to control the pandemic, and to spread panic among the people. On Thursday, he dismissed vaccine shortage concerns as “fear mongering” and said that more than 4.3 crore shots were in stock or nearing delivery.