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TN requests Centre to postpone idea of resuming vaccine exports

Only one third of India's population have been fully inoculated, says state


The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday requested the Centre to postpone resumption of exports of COVID-19 vaccines, saying only one third of the country's population have been fully inoculated so far and 115 crore vaccines are still required to give the shots to all the people.

Minister for medical and family welfare Ma Subramanian put forth the request after Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday said that exports of surplus COVID-19 vaccines would resume next month under the 'Vaccine Maitri' programme.

Talking to reporters after unveiling the simulation centre at Apollo Hospitals in Vanagaram on Tuesday, Subramanian said the global medical fraternity welcomed the vaccination programme in India, as inoculating people holds the key in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.

However, shortage of vaccines had resulted in Tamil Nadu being unable to hold vaccination camps on September 20 and today, he said.

The Minister pointed out that the Centre had announced that 80 crore people nationwide have received the jabs, of which 61 crore have received the first dose. 

"Considering the total population of 1.3 billion people who need to be inoculated, 70 per cent of them were identified to be above the age of 18 years, which is 97.30 crore," he said.

Subramanian said that till date 20.77 lakh people, or one third of the population have received the second dose. So the country still requires another 115 crore doses to vaccinate every one, he said.               

The minister said he had raised with Mandaviya, the issue of vaccinating those in this age group, as was being contemplated by other countries, to which he had replied that he would inform him after holding discussions with the officials.

"Considering all these (issues), the news of resuming vaccines for exports will not be right in any way.. On behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu, we request Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and the Union Health Minister  to postpone the idea to resume vaccine exports and set a target to inoculate all the people in the country",  Subramanian said.

On the initiatives taken by the Tamil Nadu government to vaccinate people, he said 45.34 lakh people have been given the shots in 60,000 camps state-wide on September 12 and 19

The government requires 12.12 crore vaccines to vaccinate people in the state, he said, adding that 6.06 crore people aged above 18 years have been identified as eligible to receive the shots.                                                                                                                  

"Till date we have vaccinated 4.37 crore people and still need 7.50 crore vaccines" he said.


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