‘Hue & cry’ about Centre being partisan in vaccine allocation a ‘farce’: Harsh Vardhan

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Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday dismissed as “farce” the “hue and cry” by certain states about partisanship by the Centre and called it an attempt to hide their own incompetence, saying non-BJP ruled Maharashtra and Rajasthan figured among the top three states based on allocation of vaccines.

As COVID-19 cases in India hit a record high, Vardhan said that 9.1 crore vaccine doses have been utilised, while 2.4 crore are in stock and 1.9 crore vaccines are in the pipeline, indicating there are sufficient doses available for all states.

“Hue and cry by certain states about partisanship by the Union government is just a farce, an attempt to hide their own incompetence. Maharashtra and Rajasthan are 2 of the top 3 states based on allocation of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

“Both are non-BJP governed states,” Vardhan said in a tweet.

Releasing the figures, he said in another tweet, “Let’s put an end to fear mongering now! #COVID19 vaccine doses: total administered: 9 cr+ In stock/nearing delivery to states: 4.3 cr+ Where does question of shortages arise? We’re continuously monitoring and enhancing supply.”

In a strongly worded statement Vardhan on Wednesday hit out at Maharashtra and some other states, accusing them of trying to cover their “failures” and spreading panic among people by demanding vaccination of all without inoculating enough of eligible beneficiaries.

People above the age of 45 are currently eligible for vaccination.

Vardhan also said the allegations of vaccine shortage are utterly baseless and the states, including Maharashtra need to improve the implementation of their testing and containment strategies and vaccination drive.

He said the “lackadaisical” attitude of the Maharashtra government has “singularly bogged down” the entire country’s efforts to fight the virus.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday sought to know why the state was getting fewer number of COVID-19 vaccine doses as compared to some other states, including Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, even as it is leading the vaccination drive and has the highest number of active cases in the country.

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