India will have over 510 million vaccine doses by July including the 180 million doses already administered, Harsh Vardhan told health ministers and officials of various states as he reviewed the vaccination progress and coronavirus situation.
The meeting was attended by state health ministers and principal secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
The Union Health Minister highlighted the critical challenges faced by these states. He expressed a strong view that the present plateauing of Covid cases should not be taken as a sign for complacency, but as a breathing space to expand, revamp and improve health infrastructure.
Taking note of the fact that all states require more vaccines to expand their vaccine coverage, Harsh Vardhan said that production is being steadily ramped up to cater to increased demand while vaccines that are being produced now continue to be equitably apportioned and swiftly sent to states and union territories (UTs).
Harsh Vardhan highlighted that Gujarat has displayed a gradual increase in the positivity since April and the recovery rate is lower than the national average; "near 100 per cent ICU beds in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Mehsana and 97 per cent and 96 per cent of oxygenated beds in Ahmedabad and Vadodara stood occupied indicating saturation."
Andhra Pradesh has had an increasing positivity rate since early April 2021; the weekly growth rate was as high as 30.3 per cent; Chittoor, East Godavari, Guntur, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam were flagged as districts of concern.
Uttar Pradesh saw an exponential growth in cases in a six-week period (5,500 to 31,000 cases and 2-14 per cent positivity); Lucknow and Meerut have more than 14,000 active cases with all categories of bed showing more than 90 per cent occupancy.
During the meeting, states were advised to ensure complete utilization of available vaccination slots for 45+ age-group and health care workers with awareness campaigns for conveying the importance of completing the second dose of vaccine. It was reiterated that states need to focus on reduction of vaccine wastage as that will be factored in subsequent allocations to that state.