As Mumbai is facing a health crisis owing to the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, those who have taken the first dose of Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN are worried about their second dose amid the vaccine shortage claims by the State Government. While there are certain doses of Serum Institute of India’s COVISHEILD being made available across some parts of the city, the unavailability of COVAXIN is reported from various parts of the city.
As India gears up for mass vaccination, Mulund MLA Mihir Kotecha has recently written to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) expressing concerns and asking the governing civic body of Mumbai to provide an adequate stock of both the vaccines.
The BMC spokesperson too confirmed that no stock of COVAXIN is available in any of the 136 vaccination centres in Mumbai.
“I met Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani and asked him to provide COVAXIN for people of Mulund, because out of the 70,000 people who have been vaccinated, 3,700 have taken COVAXIN. They have expressed concern that if they cross 30 days limit, then the vaccine might not be effective enough,” said Kotecha.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on April 28 revealed that the State only has 1.5 lakh vials of the vaccine and until June, 10 lakh doses of COVAXIN will be provided to the State. He also added that one crore doses of COVISHIELD will be provided to citizens through the State government per month.
In another important development, Tope announced that those between the age group of 18-44 will be provided free vaccination from May third week onwards and there will be separate centres set up for the phase 3 vaccination drive.
Developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), COVAXIN was approved for emergency use on January 3. Trial results later showed the vaccine has an efficacy of 78 per cent.