Multiple Indian states are warning the federal government of COVID-19 vaccine shortages as another spike in cases threatens to overrun the country and its already-feeble medical infrastructure.
Authorities in New Delhi and in Punjab and Rajasthan states said Saturday that they would not be able to continue vaccinations in the coming days unless stocks were replenished. Earlier this week, western Maharashtra state, the epicenter of the country's outbreak, closed some vaccination centers and turned people away due to inadequate vaccine supplies.
Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said the country has enough doses and urged state governments to put an end to ‘fearmongering’.
India, a major vaccine manufacturer, has so far administered 97 million shots but is facing major supply snags as it works to inoculate a huge population of nearly 1.4 billion people. Vaccine shots are currently limited to people over age 45 and frontline workers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's opponents have blamed his government for exporting tens of millions of vaccine doses instead of focusing on immunizations at home. India has exported 64.5 million vaccine doses of vaccines to other nations. It stopped exports last week to prioritize domestic needs.