CHENNAI: Reiterating the need for more supplies of COVID-19 vaccine doses to compensate for the past deficit, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide an additional allocation of 50 lakh doses per week along with an equal number of 0.5 ml of AD syringes or 1 ml/2ml syringes.
"The additional allocation of vaccines will enable the state to vaccinate all the uncovered eligible population by October 31, 2021 apart from administering the second dose to persons who are due to receive them," said the Chief Minister in his letter to the Prime Minister.
Thanking the Union government for providing adequate vaccines to Tamil Nadu, Stalin said, "Tamil Nadu still continues to be below the national average in many parameters of Covid vaccination, primarily due to the inadequate pace of vaccination in the first four months of the programme."
The Chief Minister also informed the PM that in addition to regular daily vaccinations, the two mega camps held in the state were a resounding success. The state vaccinated a record 28.91 lakh eligible persons on September 12 and another 16.43 lakh eligible persons on September 19. The state has crossed four crore vaccinations and has administered over a crore doses within the first 19 days of this month.
"In spite of such an increase in pace of vaccinations, the state is still below the national average, since it continues to get much lower quantities than other states in terms of per capita vaccine allocation. Hence, unless the allocation is increased substantially, the state will always be below the national average for those indicators," the Chief Minister pointed out.
The Chief Minister also recalled that the Union government had supplied 3.97 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine and 2.21 crore (0.5 ml) AD syringes to the state till September 19. By deriving more doses out of each 10 ml vial, the state had been able to vaccinate 4.13 crore persons in government COVID vaccination centres.
"Despite the levels of vaccinations achieved in Tamil Nadu, it still has a large eligible population which is yet to get vaccinated and this continues to make the state vulnerable to COVID," he pointed out.
Considering the capacity of the state and the uncovered eligible population, the state has no other option but to continue organising such mega camps at regular intervals in addition to daily vaccinations. Only this can help it overcome the low vaccination numbers achieved in the first four months of the vaccination programme, he said.
"In our estimation, the state is easily capable of utilizing 50 lakh vaccine doses every week i.e. five lakh doses/per day for six days and 20 lakh doses for a mega camp on the seventh day of the week. I have directed my officers to closely liaise with officials of the Ministry of Health, Government of India, and provide all necessary information to enable the state to get the additional doses," added Stalin.