Centre announces vaccination drive from May 1 but shortage hits States

Updated by admin on Saturday, May 01, 2021 02:05 PM IST

New Delhi: Several state governments have said they won't be able to start the Phase 3 vaccination drive from May 1, 2021, because they do not have sufficient vaccine doses. This phase of vaccination drive is for people between the age group of 18-45 years. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the vaccine drive for inoculating everyone above 18 years will not be launched in the city from May 1. The Tamil Nadu government on April 30 deferred the rollout of the third phase of the vaccination drive for all adults from May 1 citing a short supply of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Tamil Nadu health secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan, however, said people above 45 years of age will continue to be inoculated against Covid-19. He said that the state government is in touch with the Centre and the vaccine makers—Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech—regarding the issue.

“Instead of waiting till tomorrow (and disappoint people), I wish to clarify (now) that we are unsure when and how much out of 1.5 crore doses of vaccine sought by Tamil Nadu, will arrive,” Radhakrishnan said.

On April 28, the state government ordered the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) to procure 15 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to facilitate the free
vaccination of all people above 18 years of age in the state. In the order, the government said, “All necessary steps are being taken as per the order of the chief minister for the free vaccination of people from 18 to 44 years of age from May 1.”

The health secretary’s comments came as the government’s order is yet to be fulfilled. Radhakrishnan also assured that the state has enough vaccine doses for the inoculation of those above 45 years of age. He mentioned that an order for 15 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine has been placed by the state government and is unsure about when this would be delivered.

Several other states in the country have hinted at a delay in commencement of the third phase of the vaccination programme due to the shortage in the Covid-19 vaccine stock.

Karnataka health minister Dr K Sudhakar said people would be notified after the state government gets confirmation from the Serum Institute of India in Pune. “We gave orders to SII, Pune for over 1 crore doses. But they are not prepared to give it to us from tomorrow. We request people, especially those between 18 to 44 years of age, to refrain from going to hospitals thinking that you may be vaccinated tomorrow,” the minister said.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the vaccine drive for inoculating everyone above 18 years will not be launched in the city from May 1. He also asked people to not visit the vaccination centres due to concerns about social distancing norms. “The vaccines have not reached us till now. We are in touch with the manufacturers and the first batch of 300,000 doses of Covishield vaccine is likely to arrive in a day or two. Hence, I request people not to throng vaccination centres. Once we receive the doses, I will formally announce the date of launch of the mega vaccination drive,” Kejriwal said.

The Union health ministry on Thursday said more than 10 million vaccine doses are still available with states and they will receive 2 million more doses in the next few days. The ministry further said that the Centre has so far provided nearly 161.6 million vaccine doses to states and UTs free of cost.

States like Maharashtra and Gujarat have announced commencement of the vaccination drive from May 1. Gujarat will undertake the drive in 10 districts.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that the state has 0.3 million doses but will begin the vaccination for 18+ from Saturday. "Today we have received 0.3 million vaccine doses. From tomorrow, we will start vaccination for adults above the age of 18 years with whatever vaccine supply that is made available to us," he added.

Here's a list of states that are not going for Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccination drive from May 1:

Delhi: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on April 30 asked the people between the age group of 18 and 44 not to queue up outside Covid-19 vaccination centres from May 1. He said Delhi hadn’t yet received doses. He said around 0.3 million doses of Covishield were expected by May 3.

Kejriwal said his government has placed orders for 6.7 million doses each of Covishield and Covaxin which could be delivered over three months. “We aim to vaccinate everyone in the next three months if a sufficient quantity of vaccines is supplied by the companies,” he added.

Karnataka: Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar has said the state has no vaccine stock to commence the drive on May 1. "Karnataka has placed an order for more than 10 million doses. But they are not prepared to start delivery from tomorrow as scheduled. We are requesting people in the age group of 18-45 years to refrain from going to hospitals thinking they will be vaccinated," he said.

Goa: Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant has said the state will start inoculation of those in the age group of 18-45 years against Covid-19 "as and when" vaccine doses are
available. He said the Goa government has placed an order of 0.5 milli doses with the Serum Institute of India for the Covishield vaccine. "Vaccination for the 18-45 age group will progress as and when we receive the doses," Sawant added.

Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that the vaccination drive for people in the age group of 18-45 years will not start on May 1 as the vaccine manufacturers aren't in a position to supply enough vaccine doses to the state.

"On contacting the manufacturers of Covishield and Covaxin, we learnt they are unable to give us doses for those above 18 years of age on May 1. The drive covering the young people won't start on May 1," Chouhan said.

West Bengal: The West Bengal government has said that the vaccination drive for those between 18 to 45 years of age will begin as and when the state receives the vaccine doses. "Vaccination of those above 45 years will continue," the state government.

Punjab: Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu has said the vaccination drive for the 18 plus category in the state may get delayed as there are not enough doses of Covid-19 vaccine. "We are not getting adequate doses of vaccines. That is why we are facing problems. We have staff and required infrastructure for vaccination,” Sidhu said.

Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has said that those between the ages of 18 and 45 will have to wait until September to get a shot. “It will take four months to complete the vaccination for people aged 18 to 45, which means they will be vaccinated not before January end next year,” Jagan said in a statement.

Jharkhand: Jharkhand health minister Banna Gupta has said that the state will not begin inoculating people between the age group of 18-45 years on May 1, owing to the delay in getting doses from manufacturers.

“Both the companies told us that the Centre has placed advanced orders for 120 million doses already. Due to the sheer volume of the Centre’s orders, they will not be able to supply us the doses before May 15,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh: Uttar Pradesh’s health minister Jai Prata Singh has said the state does not have any stocks of vaccine doses. He said, “Global tender has been issued for the vaccine but there is no response yet. Orders of 5 million doses have been made to each of the two vaccine manufacturers, but we have not received anything yet. The current stock of vaccines is only available for the 45+ group, which is for the second dose," he added.

Jammu and Kashmir: The Jammu and Kashmir administration announcing postponement of the drive, said the third phase of the inoculation drive will not begin from May 1 in the Union Territory.

“While the registration for vaccination of eligible persons in the age group 18-45 has been opened on CoWIN platform, the actual vaccination will not begin from May 1. It will
begin from a date to be announced later once the vaccine supply is established," the Department of Information and Public Relations said.


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