When 28-year-old Gaurav walked right into a vaccination website at Ram Tirath dispensary, positioned some 14 km from Amritsar in Punjab, he was wanting ahead to getting the primary dose of Covid-19 vaccine. However, he was compelled to go away the location, disillusioned, with out getting the jab on account of shortage of Covid-19 vaccines.
“I was excited that I’ll be getting my first jab today but was shattered when the doctor said there was no vaccine. The government is fooling the people in the name of vaccination,” stated Gaurav. He additionally complained that social distancing was not being noticed on the dispensary.
Similarly, 31-year-old Sunaina, who works as a instructor, was additionally turned away as a result of non-availability of vaccines. Like Gaurav, she was additionally anticipating to get her first dose, which was additionally confirmed by the Punjab well being division through an SMS.
“Those who are influential are getting the vaccine. The health department staff posted in rural areas are getting the salaries but do not want to work,” Sunaina stated.
As Punjab rolled out the vaccination drive for the 18-44 age group within the state, Gaurav and Sunaina usually are not the one beneficiaries who’ve didn’t get dosed. There are dozens of others who acquired the SMS confirming vaccine availability, however had been turned away on the vaccination website on account of shortage.
VACCINE SHORTAGE IMPACTS SECOND DOSE BENEFICIARIES
The vaccine shortage has not solely impacted the 18+ age group, but additionally these above 45 years who had been on account of obtain their second jab.
Ajay Verma of Moga district travelled 10 km to succeed in a vaccination website to get his second dose of Covid-19 vaccine however was turned away because the centre ran out of doses.
“People are not getting the vaccine even after getting the confirmation message. When there is no vaccine, why are these officials sending us the messages,” Ajay Verma questioned.
Rampal, a 77-year-old resident of Moga, additionally criticised the Punjab well being division for sending confirmation messages when there was a shortage. Rampal is amongst dozens of senior residents who’re ready to get dosed.
Moga district vaccination officer Dr Ashok Singla informed India Today TV that there was an enormous shortage of vaccines within the district.
“We were inoculating at least 3,000 people per day but now the vaccine is only available for 2,000 people . We are not getting adequate quantities of the vaccine doses,” Dr Ashok Singla stated.
Dr Rajesh Mittal, SMO Moga, additionally confirmed that they had been pressured to ask people to return once more as there was no vaccine obtainable at most centres.
PUNJAB MINISTERS DENY VACCINE SHORTAGE
However, Punjab ministers have denied vaccine shortage within the state. State Medical Education Minister OP Soni stated, “There is no shortage of vaccines. Adequate quantities of vials have been made available at the vaccination centres, but the priority groups are being given preference.”
The Punjab authorities stated it had requested over 4 lakh doses for the third section of vaccination however to this point acquired just one lakh doses. The Amarinder Singh-led authorities had additionally requested the Serum Institute to provide 30 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine, however the producer stated it might solely be obtainable after May 15. Over 30 lakh beneficiaries within the 18-44 age group have registered for vaccination on the CoWin portal.
PUNJAB GRAPPLES WITH SHORTAGE OF OXYGEN
Furthermore, investigations have revealed that Punjab was ill-equipped to cope with the second wave of pandemic. The state lacked an enough variety of anesthetists to make use of ventilators. Nearly 120 posts of anesthetists are mendacity vacant throughout varied hospitals in Punjab.
When requested concerning the shortage of technical employees to function ventilators within the state, Punjab Health Minister Balbir Sidhu stated the state had almost 1,000 ventilators out of which solely 25 per cent had been in use.
“There is a shortage of oxygen. We are at the mercy of the union government as far as the oxygen supplies are concerned .We have requested the union government to increase our oxygen quota,” stated Balbir Sidhu.
Punjab is getting 227 metric tonnes of oxygen per day towards the requirement of 297 metric tonnes. The state has requested the Centre to extend its quota by a minimum of 50 metric tonnes of oxygen per day.