After Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope alleged that the state received less COVID-19 vaccines, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday took to Twitter to refute the charges, saying there is no question of discrimination against any state.
The Health Ministry said that the full initial procurement amount of 1.65 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines have been allocated to all states and Union Territories in the proportion of Health Care Workers (HCWs) database.
"Therefore, there is no question of discrimination against any State in the allocation of vaccine doses," it said in a series of tweets.
The Ministry said that an initial lot of supply of vaccine doses was done and it would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come.
"Therefore, any apprehension being expressed on account of deficient supply is totally baseless and unfounded," it added.
Noting that states have been advised to organise vaccination sessions taking into account 10 per cent reserve or wastage of doses and average of 100 vaccinations per session per day, "any undue haste to organise unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day is not advised," Ministry said.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the states and union territories have also been advised to increase the number of vaccination session sites that would be operational every day in a progressive manner as the vaccination process stabilises.
The Maharashtra government has said it so far received 9.83 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of the total requirement of 17.5 lakh for inoculation in the first phase.
The state has received only 9.63 vials of Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India and "merely" 20,000 vials from the Bharat Biotech of its indigenously-made vaccine, Tope said.
Tope said eight lakh health workers are to be vaccinated first and vaccine shots will be administered at 350 centres. Also, Tope assured everyone that the two vaccines are completely safe.
Covishield and Covaxin, the two COVID-19 vaccines which have received Emergency Use Authorisation (EAU), have been tested on thousands of people and side-effects are negligible, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, said on Tuesday and noted that the two "are safest of vaccines".
The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive is scheduled to start from January 16 onwards.
Earlier, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said the central government is having close collaboration with states and Union Territories for vaccine roll-out. "All preparations are on track for vaccine roll-out from January 16," he had said. (ANI)