The head of the CoWIN platform RS Sharma said on Friday the vaccination drive against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for people between age 18-45 years will pick up the pace soon and that the shortage of doses is a temporary problem.
Sharma, who is also the chairperson of the empowered committee on Covid-19 vaccination, said the problem with vaccination is occurring specifically for people belonging to that particular age group.
"The system is inclusive. The fact that more than half of the population who are aged above 45 years are walk-in registrations who have gotten vaccinated. This is a temporary problem," Sharma was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Delhi, Jharkhand and Punjab have said in the last two days that they had to stop their vaccination drives due to a shortage of doses. Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren on Thursday said that the state was facing an acute shortage of vaccines with doses for the 18-44 age group almost over. Delhi MLA Atishi said the Capital had to suspend the vaccination drive for the fourth day in a row for people aged between 18-45 years.
Punjab expanded its vaccination priority list to include citizens employed in the hospitality sector, shopkeepers and their staff, industrial workers, street vendors, delivery boys, bus and cab drivers, conductors and members of local bodies as chief minister Amarinder Singh highlighted the state's acute shortage of vaccines.
The Union ministry of health and family welfare said on Friday that the states have at least 18.4 million vaccine doses and said that the Centre provided 224.6 million doses free of cost to the states. It also said that it will provide states and Union Territories with three lakh vaccine doses.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday at least 1.08 billion people will be vaccinated against the coronavirus disease by December 2021. India has vaccinated 202.1 million people so far.