Health Min Responds After Chhattisgarh Asks Centre to Halt Covaxin

Harsh Vardhan also pointed out that the state has been way behind in its vaccination schedule.

Published
India
2 min read
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan displays a Covishield vaccine vial, after the virtual launch of COVID-19 vaccination drive by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at AIIMS in New Delhi on Saturday.
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Union minister Dr Harsh Vardhan wrote to Chhattisgarh health minister TS Singh Deo on Thursday, 11 February, after the latter publicly expressed his concerns regarding Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, and requested the Centre to halt the vaccine supply to Chhattisgarh till the issues are addressed, reported NDTV.

In a letter written to the Centre, Deo raised his concern regarding the “incomplete third phase trials" of the vaccine along with "absence of expiration date on the vials.”

Giving a detailed explanation through the letter, Harsh Vardhan pointed out that the state has been way behind in its vaccination schedule.

Covaxin is currently being used in a clinical trial mode. It is also being administered to healthcare workers in six centrally-run hospitals in Delhi.

The Union minister, through his letter, emphasised that all vaccines supplied to states are "safe and immunogenic" and should be used efficiently. He also wrote that Deo’s claims regarding the absence of expiry date are completely baseless as the same is mentioned on the label of vaccine vials. He also attached a picture of the vial with the label.

The minister also pointed out that while Chhattisgarh has “achieved 69.87 percent coverage of its Health Care Workers by giving them the first dose of the vaccine, the state has been able to cover only 9.55 percent of its 2,09,512 Front Line Workers through the first dose of the vaccine," reported NDTV.

He asked Deo to make sure that these coverage figures improve significantly since the vaccines is amply available in the state.

Dr VK Paul, Chairman of National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration, last week said that 12 states have vaccinated less than 40 percent of their registered healthcare workers.

While several public health experts have said that vaccine hesitancy is the major reason for the slow pace of the vaccination drive, Paul had said that vaccine hesitancy "has ended," the report added.

“It may still be there at an individual level, but largely it is not there," he was quoted as saying.

He also added that with India heading towards 1 crore vaccinations soon, the pace is going to pick up.

(With inputs from NDTV)

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