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Covid-19

Monthly vaccine supply to Bengal to touch 1 crore in August

The Centre has also promised to supply the state another 1.3 crore doses in September

Subhajoy Roy | Published 30.08.21, 07:19 AM
With the increase in supply, the state will target to vaccinate about 7 lakh people a day and be able to focus more on semi-urban and rural areas, the official said.

With the increase in supply, the state will target to vaccinate about 7 lakh people a day and be able to focus more on semi-urban and rural areas, the official said.

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The Bengal government will receive more than 1 crore Covid vaccine doses by the end of August, the highest allocation in a month since the start of the drive in January.

The Centre has also promised to supply the state another 1.3 crore doses in September, said a state health department official on Sunday.

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With the increase in supply, the state will target to vaccinate about 7 lakh people a day and be able to focus more on semi-urban and rural areas, the official said. 

“Since a good number of people have been vaccinated in urban areas of Bengal, the government now wants to shift focus to semi-urban and then rural areas,” the official said.

The supply of over 1 crore doses in two successive months stands in contrast to previous months’ allocation. Data available on the CoWIN portal show that about 75 lakh doses were administered in the state in July. 

Between May 29 and July 2, the state administered 69,15,640 doses. 

The numbers include the doses given by both government-run and private vaccination centres. 

The 1.3 crore doses that will reach Bengal in September will only be for government facilities. Private hospitals and clinics will source their supplies directly from the manufacturers, as is the norm.

“We have been promised 1.33 crore doses in September. But we expect the allocation to go up to 1.5 crore doses. In July and August, we received more doses than what was promised,” another official of the health department said.

The Centre procures 75 per cent of the doses manufactured and distributes them among the states and Union Territories. Private hospitals buy the remaining 25 per cent directly from the manufacturers.

Shortage of doses in June had often forced the state to slow down vaccination. It also had to tweak the programme by reserving more shots for second dose recipients so they did not miss out on receiving their jabs.

In September, the state plans to split the doses equally among the first and second dose recipients. “Our focus will be on semi-urban areas, followed by rural areas. Vaccination coverage in urban areas like Calcutta has been good. We will now focus on semi-urban areas,” said the senior health department official.

The rationale behind focusing on urban areas first was the high population density there, said the official. 

Since people live and work in close proximity to each other in urban pockets, there are more chances of the virus spreading in such areas, said the official.

“The allocation depends on factors like population density, how well a district has been able to use the doses given to it and the demand,” said the official.

Last updated on 30.08.21, 11:43 AM
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