While EPS faulted the DMK regime for not doing enough to speed up procurement and demanded a white paper on the state of affairs, the Minister responded with statistics and said he was ready to present full details in the Assembly.
In a statement, Palaniswami said the public were finding it difficult to get vaccinated and added that thousands were awaiting second dose. There was no systematic planning in conducting the vaccination drive, due to which the people were being forced to wait, he added.
His government had a detailed plan for handling the first wave of the pandemic, Palaniswami claimed. It then initiated steps to procure vaccines through a global tender and also suggested converting Integrated Vaccine Complex in Chengalpattu into a State-supported centre to make COVID vaccine. But nothing had materialised till now, EPS said, and sought a white paper with all details about procurement and administration.
He also blamed Chief Minister MK Stalin and other leaders for issuing statements about global procurement and domestic production of vaccine, but all of which remained only on paper.
Responding to the allegations, Health Minister Subramanian gave details about the doses received and administered. “We are regularly sharing vaccination schedule and also the number of vaccine doses received as per schedule. There is a complete transparency in the system and I am ready to give all details to the opposition party in the assembly,” he said.
He said that the facilities at IVC, Chengalpattu and the unit at Coonoor, The Nilgiris, are capable of filling and packing one crore doses a month. But when it was ruling the State, the AIADMK did not recognise them for vaccine production, he alleged. Compared to the wastage of vaccine during the AIADMK ruling, the healthcare workers were squeezing every last drop from each vial so that wastage is reduced to a minimum, he added.
“When the AIADMK was in power, the Union government was ready to give more doses as the availability was more. They could have got more than two crore doses a month then. But the then ruling did not ask for any. It was only after May 7, when MK Stalin took charge as Chief Minister, that Tamil Nadu sought more doses and to open vaccine production units in the State,” the Health Minister claimed.
Stalin was scheduled to visit Delhi to meet Union Ministers on Monday to stress on these issues, Subramainan said.