Moderna refused to send vaccines as it only deals with Centre, says Punjab govt

  • Garg said that the Punjab government reached out to several vaccine manufacturers including Sputnik V, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
Empty vials of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine lie in a box. (AP Photo)
Empty vials of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine lie in a box. (AP Photo)
Published on May 23, 2021 05:31 PM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh/ New Delhi

Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer Moderna Inc declined the Punjab government’s request to procure vaccines saying that it only deals with the central government, state nodal officer Vikas Garg said in a statement on Saturday. “One of the Covid vaccine manufacturer ‘Moderna’ has refused to send direct vaccination to the Punjab government as according to their policy, they only deal with the Government of India and not with any state government or private parties,” the statement said.

The Punjab government approached Sputnik V, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson after being directed by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the statement said adding that the state government was forced to stop vaccinations due to unavailability of vaccines for the last three days.

“All efforts are being made for procurement of vaccines to meet the acute shortage in the state, which had received fewer than 44 lakh vaccine doses so far from the Government of India,” it said.

Garg’s statement pointed out that Punjab has been able to buy only 4.2 lakh vaccine doses, including 66,000 doses which were received on Saturday. Garg said that 3.5 lakh doses have already been used and the state is left with 64,000 doses currently.

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on May 20 directed the health department to look out for possibilities if a global tender can be floated to meet the vaccination requirements of the state. He also said that the government has the capacity to store at least 35 lakh doses of Sputnik-V vaccine.

Garg said out of all the vaccine manufacturers, it was only Moderna which replied to the Punjab government’s query.

Punjab reported 5,421 fresh Covid-19 cases on Saturday taking the tally to 533,973. The state also registered 201 Covid-19 fatalities pushing the death toll to 13,089. Punjab currently has 61,203 active cases of Covid-19.

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