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Maharashtra govt wasted 5 lakh COVID vaccine doses: Javadekar

The state govt has 23 lakh doses of the vaccines with it, says the Union minister

A medical worker prepares to inoculate a person with a dose of COVID vaccine | PTI A medical worker prepares to inoculate a person with a dose of COVID vaccine | PTI

Union minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar alleged on Thursday that five lakh doses of the COVID-19 vaccines were wasted in Maharashtra due to a lack of planning by the state government.

Addressing a press conference at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office here, Javadekar, who himself hails from Maharashtra, said he has taken all the information and 23 lakh doses of the vaccines are available with the Maharashtra government.

His remarks came after Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said many inoculation centres in the state are being shut due to a shortage of the vaccines and that the state now has 14 lakh doses, which would only last for three days.

"I want to make it clear that the Maharashtra government has 23 lakh doses of the vaccines with it...which is a stock for five to six days. Now, to distribute in villages and districts is the responsibility of the state government," Javadekar said.

He alleged that the Maharashtra government has "wasted five lakh doses of the vaccines, and it is not a small number, due to its lack of planning. The planning for carrying out a vaccination drive is the responsibility of the state government".

The Union minister also said a higher number of vaccines was given to Maharashtra as compared to the Centre's previous allocation to the state.

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