Chennai, Sep 21 : Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian has called upon the union government to export vaccines to other countries only after making sure that the entire population of India is given at least one dose of the vaccine.
He was speaking to reporters on Tuesday after inaugurating a simulation centre at Apollo Super specialty hospital.
The state health minister was responding to the Union Health Minister's statement that the country would resume export of vaccines from October.
The state health minister said that the country needs a minimum of 115 crore doses of vaccine to expand inoculation to the 12-18 age group also.
India has a population of 139 crore and 70 per cent of the population is above 18 years of age.
This would mean that around 97.30 crore people would be eligible for vaccination and two doses of vaccines means a total of 194.60 crore doses of vaccines will be required to inoculate the country fully, the Tamil Nadu state health minister said.
He said, "According to the data available with the Government of India, 80 crore people were vaccinated, and of this 61 crore have received only the first dose.
This means that only one-third have received the first dose and the country requires 115 crore doses more."
The Tamil Nadu health minister said that several countries have commenced vaccination in the 12-18 age group and if India is also going for such a step then the doses of vaccines required would be much more than 115 crore.
Ma Subramanian while speaking to reporters said, "How is it possible to export vaccines while more than 115 crore doses of vaccines are required to inoculate the people above 18 years of age."
Tamil Nadu requires 12.12 crore doses of vaccine to inoculate the eligible population of 6.06 crore persons.
Minister said that the state has already administered 4.37 crore doses of vaccines and requires more than 7.5 crore doses to inoculate the entire eligible population fully.
Ma Subramanian called upon the Prime Minister and the Union Health Minister to postpone the proposed export of vaccines and instead take steps to vaccinate the entire eligible population of the country.
He also said that the issue of vaccination must not be approached from a profit angle.