There is ‘enough stock’ of vaccines for Nagaland: Health official

Morung Express News 
Dimapur | April 11 

Amid the tussle between Centre and some states as well as opposition parties over the supply and ‘alleged’ shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, a Nagaland heath official on April 11 maintained that there is “enough stock” of vaccines in the State.  

“Yes, we have enough stock. No issue with stock,” a health official told The Morung Express on Sunday when queried on the issue. The official is currently associated with logistical aspects of vaccination drive in Nagaland.

The official further estimated that Nagaland currently has around 1.5 lakh vaccines in stock.

“We get vaccines as per usage,” he added, upon further enquiry regarding the allotment of the vaccines. 

On reported tussles and shortages, the official opined that for small states, it should not be a problem, while noting that current issue might be due to some big states demanding larger shares of vaccines. 

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday indicated in a tweet that there are enough over 4.3 crore vaccines “in stock/nearing delivery to states” and called for “an end to fear mongering.” “Total administered: 9 cr+. In stock/nearing delivery to states: 4.3 cr+ Where does question of shortages arise?” he posted. 

As the four-day ‘Tika Utsav’ (Vaccination Festival) kicked off across India on Sunday, news outlets reported shortages of vaccines on some sites in India. However, there were not official data on the day’s proceedings till the filing of this report. 

Weekly inoculation improves; ‘Vaccination Festival’ begins 
Officials in the State health department were also encouraged by the relatively better weekly vaccination data for the week ending April 9. 

A total of 19,216 doses were administered during the period as against 8,080 last week, taking the total cumulative dosages (1st and 2nd doses) from 89,349 (March 27-April 2) to 1, 08,565 (April 3-9), as per the April 10 Weekly Bulletin issued by State IDSP (Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme).

This is the highest vaccination in a week since the inception of vaccination drive in Nagaland, the official said. 

The start of 45-59 years category added to the total with 8,065 of them taking the 1st dose during the April 3-9 period. 

The bulletin also reiterated that vaccination of 45 years and above is crucial as the age group’s case fatality rate or death rate in Nagaland is “much higher at 2.6 % than the overall rate of 0.66%.”

As reported earlier, vaccination among healthcare workers is still ‘below expectation’ with just 397 this week for an overall total (1st dose) of 12,520 so far. 

The category with highest vaccination till April 9 was frontline workers with 38,903 of them receiving the 1st dose and 18,426 with 2nd dose. (See table)

Nagaland on April 11 also joined the nationwide ‘Vaccination Festival’ (April 11-14) by setting up vaccination centres at workplaces and plans for intensifying Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities during the mentioned period. 

Being a Sunday, the first day included sensitisation at various churches and setting up vaccination sites near their premises for easy access.