As Tamil Nadu recovers from a deadly second wave of COVID-19 infections, vaccination centres across Coimbatore and Trichy will remain shut on Saturday, owing to a shortage in doses. A statement issued by respective district administrations of both towns said that there was shortage of doses, and that they would not be able to continue with the vaccination drive.
"No COVID-19 vaccinations will be conducted at centres across towns and neighbouring villages in Trichy on June 5 owing to a shortage in vaccine stocks," said a press release issued by the Trichy administration, "Members of the public will be notified once stocks arrive and vaccination is resumed."
"The COVID-19 vaccination drive is being suspended in five zones in Coimbatore owing to a shortage in vaccine supplies at the local corporation. Vaccination will resume once stocks are replenished," a statement from the Coimbatore district administration said.
Earlier this week, the Tamil Nadu Health and Family Welfare Department had projected a possible shortage in vaccine stocks, and hinted at a possible suspension of inoculation across the state between June 3 and 5. However, on the intervention of the Centre, buffer stocks totalling to 4.2 lakh doses of Covishield arrived late evening on June 1, which in turn prevented the state from issuing a blanket suspension of vaccination.
However, reports suggest that even the buffer stock did not suffice in covering inoculation requirements across the state. The result is that two major cities, Coimbatore and Trichy, will go without vaccines starting Saturday, with no word on when their stocks will be replenished.
The administrations of Coimbatore and Trichy have not given an indication on when new stocks would arrive. However, TN was scheduled to receive its next batch of doses only in the second week of June.
Trichy began seeing a gradual pick up in vaccinations up until Friday when news of the shortage broke. The town was witness to long queues at vaccine camps, like the one at Devar Hall, as several sections of the local population finally began shaking off vaccine hesitancy.
Despite Tamil Nadu seeing off the peak of its COVID-19 outbreak, Coimbatore continues to remain the worst-hit city with daily cases exceeding those in Chennai. On Friday, Coimbatore reported 2,810 fresh COVID-19 cases, while Chennai reported 1971. Trichy reported 689 new cases.
Tamil Nadu reported healthy vaccine jabs on June 3 and 4, totalling to 2.89 lakh and 2.16 lakh, respectively, despite the impending shortage. The state has vaccinated a total of 95.91 lakh of its population. The state has floated a global vaccine tender, which aims to supply 3.5 crore vaccine doses.
(Edited by: By Jerome Anthony)