Reason: There is a shortage
People aged between 18 and 45 are struggling to get Covid vaccination in Bihar.
Nitu Devi, a 43-year-old resident of Bettiah, informed The Observer: “Centres are denying vaccination to people below the age of 45 saying that there is an unavailability of vaccines.
A worker from PHC Bairiya, one of the vaccination centres in Bettiah, said: “The system is not updated yet for the vaccination drive of people aged above 18. Plus, there is a shortage of vaccines.”
Implementation of the Liberalised and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy of Covid-19 Vaccination began on May 1.
According to a May 6 press release by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the government of India has so far provided more than 17.15 crore vaccine doses to the states and Union territories free of cost. Bihar has so far received 83 lakh doses, of which 4.95 per cent are reported to have been wasted.
Even though the state has 53 lakh vaccine doses available with it, and 50,000 doses in the pipeline, as per data available at 8 am on May 6, people above the age of 18 are being sent away from vaccination facilities.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar said on April 21 that the Bihar government will run a free vaccination drive for people above 18 years of age. Nearly 5.47 crore people in this category were to be vaccinated free of cost at government hospitals. On April 30, the state government allotted ₹4,000 crore for vaccines to be given free of cost to all aged between 18 and 45 years this fiscal.
According to an article published in Hindustan Times, a top health official on April 29 said the vaccination drive for people above 18 would not be able to start in Bihar from May 1 due to lack of supply from the Serum Institute of India.
The government press release said more than 89 lakh vaccine doses are still available with the states/UTs. More than 28 lakh vaccine doses will be received by the states/UTs in the next three days.