Maharashtra has suspended COVID-19 vaccinations till Monday because of technical issues with the centre’s software platform for managing the programme, Maharashtra public health minister Rajesh Tope told news agency PTI on Saturday.
The CoWIN application, being used to tally beneficiaries, had thrown up glitches through the day, slowing the inoculation process in places, officials said at the end of the first day of India’s colossal vaccination drive on Saturday.
“Not just in Maharashtra, everywhere in the country this app created problems in the execution of vaccination drive. We have decided to suspend the vaccination for the next two days. On January 8, when dry run was conducted, and again today I specifically pointed out problems with the CoWIN app and Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said he will look into it,” Mr Tope told PTI.
On the first day of the immunisation campaign, the government said it aimed to vaccinate over 3 lakh people at over 3,000 vaccination centres established around the country. By the end of the day 1.91 lakh had been inoculated, it said.
Government sources said there was considerable hesitation among people about getting the vaccines, explaining the shortfall in numbers. Health Ministry officials stressed that the drive was successful, there were no post-vaccine hospitalisations and the only hiccups involved CoWIN.
On the first day of the vaccination drive, 65 per cent of the frontline workers who were scheduled to receive the COVID-19 vaccine jab in Maharashtra were inoculated, an official told PTI. The rest did not turn up, he said.
“The target was to administer vaccine doses to 28,500 beneficiaries at 285 centres in the state. By the end of the day, 18,425 beneficiaries, or 65 per cent, were given the shot,” said Dr Dilip Patil, State Immunization Officer.
In Hingoli district, 100 per cent turn-out was recorded for vaccination, while in Dhule, Solapur, Beed, Parbhani and Buldhana, the overall percentage for vaccination was above 90 per cent.
The indigenous Covaxin vaccine was administered to 385 healthcare workers at six centres. In other centres, Covishield vaccine was used.
“The remaining lot of 35 per cent (who did not turn up despite being scheduled) will be given the jabs in the subsequent sessions,” said Dr Patil.