The Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh governments on Wednesday dismissed Union health ministry data that showed they were the top wasters of coronavirus vaccine doses, amid acute shortages in the country.
The Centre’s data, released on Tuesday, showed, that Jharkhand wasted 37.3% doses, Chhattisgarh 30.2%, Tamil Nadu 15.5%, Jammu and Kashmir 10.8% and Madhya Pradesh 10.7%. The health ministry added the the states had been repeatedly asked to keep vaccine wastage below 1% and the national average was 6.3%.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, while responding to the Centre’s figures on Wednesday afternoon, said the current vaccine wastage proportion in the state was only 4.65%. “Vaccination data could not be fully updated to the central Co-Win Server/ Platform due to technical difficulties/glitches and the updation is in process,” he added.
Soren added that Jharkhand was fully-focused on utilising available vaccine doses in a careful way and ensuring minimal wastage. “We hope to minimise it further with more focused vaccination awareness campaigns in deep forested and other rural areas of the state,” he said.
The Chhattisgarh government wrote to the Centre about the “incorrect data”, adding that it was working to resolve the matter, ANI reported.
Several states are grappling with a scarcity of vaccines and are seeking to procure them through global tenders or by approaching manufacturers.
On Wednesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that no state had been able to procure even one extra coronavirus vaccine dose from the manufacturers through its own efforts. He again urged the Centre to provide the doses to the states, adding that they shouldn’t be left to make arrangements for themselves amid the health crisis.
On Tuesday, pharmaceutical company Pfizer denied having placed a bid to provide vaccines in India, after Mumbai civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation claimed the firm responded to its global tender. The Maharashtra government, which had floated a separate tender, also claimed to have received eight bids, including those which promised Pfizer shots.
On Sunday, Punjab said that Moderna had refused to supply its coronavirus vaccines directly to the state. Moderna and Pfizer also refused to sell doses to Delhi, and said they will deal only with the Union government.
India on Wednesday reported 2.08 lakh new coronavirus cases, taking the overall tally past 2.71 crore since the pandemic first broke out in January 2020. The toll rose by 4,157 to 3,11,388. The number of vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 20 crore.