Amid shortage, Minister Sudhakar seeks more vaccines from Centre

Health Minister K. Sudhakar on Tuesday contacted Health Ministry officials in New Delhi seeking supply of COVID-19 vaccines amid suspension of the vaccination programme at government hospitals and primary health centres of Mysuru district for the third straight day.

There has been a shortage of vaccines in several districts for the general public as the focus has shifted to vaccinating students and school and college staff.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Dr. Sudhakar said he had spoken to Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, who promised to despatch supplies from the fresh allotment to the State on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Sudhakar had told reporters in Bengaluru that he would make a trip to the national capital and meet the Union Health Minister on the issue. However, in Mysuru, the Health Minister played down the shortage and said the State has been administering three lakh to five lakh doses of vaccine every day. “We have never run dry of vaccine stocks,” he claimed.

Mysuru District Health Officer K.H. Prasad had, on Monday, admitted that the vaccine stock in the district was exhausted. Officials had appealed to the public to cooperate with the district administration and visit the vaccination centres only after fresh supplies arrived.

Referring to the non-availability of vaccines in Mysuru, Dr. Sudhakar said that the matter had been brought to his notice and that he would take the necessary steps. Dr. Sudhakar cautioned Dr. Prasad against providing information pertaining to vaccines to the media. Soon after officials of the Health and Family Welfare Department in Mysuru gathered for a review meeting on the Mysuru Zilla Panchayat premises, Dr. Sudhakar told Dr. Prasad that henceforth the Deputy Commissioner would provide information on vaccines and that he should refrain from speaking to the media about it.

At Dharwad, District Health and Family Welfare Officer Yashwanth Madinkar said there was no shortage of vaccine doses but they were being used to vaccinate students and teachers. “As the focus is now on inoculating students, not many doses are available for the general public,” he said.

In Mysuru too, inoculation at colleges is continuing.

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