COVID-19: India’s overall vaccine wastage at 6.5%

India’s overall percentage of COVID-19 vaccine wastage is at 6.5 percent, with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh topping the list with 17.6 percent and 11.6 percent of vaccine wastage respectively, informed the union health ministry on Wednesday.

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“India’s overall percentage of COVID-19 vaccine wastage is 6.5 percent. We have told the states that vaccine wastage needs to be drastically reduced,” Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at the weekly press briefing.

He added that states have been requested to do testing, tracking and treating in a more efficient manner amid the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
Despite the increase of COVID-19 cases across states and union territories in the country, India’s coronavirus mortality rate remains below two percent while the cumulative positivity rate has dropped below five percent, informed the Health Secretary.

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He informed that a 43 percent week-on-week increase in new coronavirus cases and almost 37 percent week-on-week increase in new deaths have been recorded.

“Cases are building up again, which is a matter of concern. 70 districts in 16 states saw a 150 percent increase in COVID-19 cases in the last 15 days,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed disappointment at the vaccine wastage while speaking to Chief Ministers in the meeting that was held earlier in the day regarding the COVID-19 situation, said Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog.

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“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a detailed discussion with states and Union Territories on the COVID-19 situation and vaccination. He expressed disappointment at vaccine wastage. It is a precious commodity. At an individual level and for the country, this wastage is not right. He has said that wastage should be absolutely minimal,” Paul said.

Till now, over 3.51 crore total doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administrated, Bhushan informed. “On March 15, 8.34 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered worldwide, of which India alone administered 36 percent of doses.”

As many as 28,903 new COVID-19 cases and 17,741 recoveries were reported in India in the last 24 hours taking the total cases in the country to 1,14,38,734, including 2,34,406 active cases and 1,10,45,284 recoveries. The death toll stands at 1,59,044 including 188 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.