The vaccination drive which had to be temporarily paused in Tamil Nadu for two days due to shortage of vaccine doses will resume on Thursday after the M.K. Stalin government received 2.5 lakh doses late last evening.
Vaccine shots were immediately despatched to all districts by late Wednesday.
In June, the state was allocated 42 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines and the Centre allocated an additional 5 lakh doses. The 2.5 lakh doses which were sanctioned add up to this taking the total allocation for Tamil Nadu to 49.5 lakh doses.
On Wednesday, the state witnessed flash protests as people turned violent after several vaccine centres displayed “No Vaccine” boards.
In Madurai people had queued up since 3 a.m. for the Covid jabs in front of the Elango Corporation Boys High School. They shouted slogans after health department officials announced that there was no vaccine available.
The Greater Chennai Corporation had already announced on its website and other media that the vaccine would not be available on Wednesday.
Even though the state received 2.5 lakh doses of vaccine on late Wednesday, Health Minister Ma Subramanian said that it would last only for a day. The state is vaccinating maximum people to prevent a third wave, he added.
In July, the state is expected to receive 71.5 lakh doses of the vaccine but 17.75 lakh doses have been set aside for private hospitals.
This means that the state will have just above 53 lakh doses of vaccine which is only 3 lakh doses above that of June limit.
With a high awareness rate and grass-root awareness action taken by political parties through door-to-door campaigning on the necessity of vaccination as the only way to prevent the pandemic, people are queuing up in large numbers to get the shot.
However, the shortage of vaccines is disappointing them and this could lead to unrest, doctors say.
Subramanian told IANS: “We have the health infrastructure to vaccinate even 6 lakh people a day but we are receiving fewer doses and unless the central government increase our vaccine dose quantity we may not be able to vaccinate the whole population on a war footing.
“Chief Minister M.K.Stalin is taking up the matter with the Union Health Minister and the Government of India to increase the vaccine quota for the state.”