00:59 GMT18 May 2021
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    The state government of Maharashtra in India is at loggerheads with the federal government over the supply of vaccination doses to the state. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has alleged discrimination against the state, saying that smaller states with lesser populations have received more doses of the vaccine.

    A prominent leader in Maharashtra and former member of parliament, Raju Shetti, has written to the prime minister, home minister, and health minister that if vaccine supply is not increased for the state of Maharashtra within a week, activists will start stopping vehicles transporting vaccines to other states from the Serum Institute of India.

    The Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, which has a target of providing 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021, is located in Pune, a city in Maharashtra.

    The vaccine shortage has hit the inoculation drive in India as the country is witnessing a second wave of the pandemic. 

    Reports of people returning from vaccination centres without their vaccine shots are pouring in from several parts of the country. Police had to be called in to disperse a crowd of vaccine seekers at Bandra, Mumbai's largest vaccination centre. The facility had to close its gates to keep people out after exhausting the last 160 doses of vaccines it had on Friday. 

    In a similar incident, tempers ran high at the District Combined Hospital in Ghaziabad, in the national capital region, after vaccination was stalled due to a shortage of doses. Police had to be summoned to control an angry crowd of people who turned up for their doses but were asked to leave. A man was detained by the police after he allegedly threatened the hospital staff. 

    In Maharashtra, the state worst hit by the second wave of the pandemic, only 33,551 people could be vaccinated on Friday compared with the national average of 53,000 vaccinations a day, said authorities. Bombay Municipal Corporation Commissioner IS Chahal announced late Friday night that private centres will not hold vaccination drives on 10, 11, and 12 April. 

    Medical authorities in the state of West Bengal said that their stocks will run dry by Sunday as already many hospitals in Kolkata had turned away vaccine seekers. 

    The head of the vaccination campaign in Odisha, Bijay Panigrahi, was quoted by Indian news agencies as saying that the state has vaccination stocks for only two days and had sought help from the federal government. The chief of Chhattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel, also issued a statement that the vaccine doses left in the state's stocks will run out in two days. 

    Related:

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