Only 1,133 in Andhra Pradesh and 500 people in Telangana in that age group have received the jab. In the entire country, 34.6 lakh have been vaccinated in this age group ever since the programme was rolled out on the first day of the month.
According to the Union ministry of health, Maharashtra leads the pack with 6.5 lakh people in 18-44 age group vaccinated, followed by Rajasthan at 5.5 lakh, Delhi at 4.7 lakh and Gujarat (3.8 lakh).
The Telangana government has not started vaccination for this age group due to severe shortage of vaccines for administering second doses for people aged 45 years and above. Both AP and Telangana have decided to first give the second shot for people in this category.
MAUD minister KT Rama Rao on Thursday admitted that the problem has been accentuated by lack of availability of vaccines. “When it is available, we have the ability and infrastructure to vaccinate the entire state within 45 days. Out of 2.9 crore adult population in Telangana, we need to vaccinate 1.9 crore people. Since it is a two-dose vaccine, we need 3.8 crore doses,” he said.
According to Niti Aayog, 216 crore doses will be available between August and December this year. The two Telugu states are demanding that the Centre allocate more vaccine stocks to them. AP chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi asking for permission for other companies to make Covaxin. While 67% of cumulative doses were given to 10 states, AP had a share of 4.1%. Maharashtra topped with 10.7%, followed by Rajasthan at 8.3 % and Gujarat (8.2%).
KTR said whatever is allowed by the Drug Controller General of India, the state is in a position to procure them. “So far, only three vaccines — Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik — are available. Hopefully, Pfizer and Moderna will be allowed too. By August, I am hearing that another Indian vaccine could be available from BE,” he said.
He said out of the total 45 and above population of 92.24 lakh, the state has vaccinated 45.37 lakh people with the first dose. “The second dose has been given to more than 10.3 lakh people,” he added.