BENGALURU: On Wednesday, a white board, reading ‘Covishield and Covaxin out of stock’, was placed at KC General Hospital in Bengaluru. Similar scenes were witnessed at other vaccination sites in Bengaluru, contradicting Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar’s statement that there is sufficient stock of Covid-19 vaccines and there is no shortage at present.
“On Wednesday, we managed to get 960 doses of Covaxin, but Covishield was not available. Usually, we ask for 1,000-2,000 doses of both brands of vaccine, but they give us 500 each on a daily basis, depending on our existing stock. It will be beneficial for us if more stocks are given on a weekly basis or else we have to put up boards saying vaccines are not available,” said a doctor from KC General Hospital.
At the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) too, Covaxin was available while Covishield was out of stock. As there was a shortage of Covaxin for the last two months, people could not get the first dose of Covaxin and therefore, there are lesser takers for the second dose.
The demand remains for Covishield which was in stock until now. “We received 50 vials of Covishield on Monday which we used for the following days to administer the second dose for the 45-plus age group. On Wednesday, there was no stock although people arrived asking for it. Many of them were frustrated and angry as they had to return home without getting the shot.
Thursday is also going to be a dry day for us as we have no vaccines. We asked the BBMP for vaccines and they asked us to wait for the next 2-3 days,” a doctor from BMCRI said.The situation is similar in the suburbs as well. In Hebbagodi City Municipal Corporation limits, none of the government hospitals had vaccine stock on Tuesday.
“There are a lot of industrial workers in Hebbagodi, with a population between 80,000 to one lakh. They work in Bommasandra, Veerasandra, Electronics City and have been visiting vaccination sites for the vaccine, but there is no stock. We have raised the issue with the Anekal District Health Officer, Minister Suresh Kumar and MLA Shivanna, but we have not got any support. We are sending people to the city to get vaccines,” said V T Rajendrappa, former vice-president of the Hebbagodi Municipal Council.
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Special Commissioner (Health) Randeep D said that the corporation is asking for one lakh vaccine doses per day, but that hasn’t been coming in. “We are getting around 45,000-46,000 doses per day, but this is an improvement from earlier. Moreover, the supply of Covaxin has increased. On Wednesday, we received 40,000 doses of Covaxin although the Covishield supply has dropped. We got only 6,000 doses of Covishield,” he said.