Local residents stand in queues outside a vaccination counter at the civil surgeon’s office in Ludhiana on Tuesday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Local residents stand in queues outside a vaccination counter at the civil surgeon’s office in Ludhiana on Tuesday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)

Vaccination for all above 18 in Punjab from May 1 to get delayed

Serum Institute of India conveys to state government that it will not be able to deliver Covishield jabs before the middle of next month
By Ravinder Vasudeva, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON APR 28, 2021 01:28 AM IST

The vaccination drive for all above 18 years of age in Punjab from May 1 is most likely to get delayed with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) conveying to the state government that it will not be able to deliver the Covishield orders before the middle of the next month.

The state on Sunday had booked 30 lakh doses with the SII.

Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said, “We cannot say if the drive will start from May 1 as the central government has not been able to issue adequate doses to vaccinate even the 45-plus category. Many vaccination centres in Punjab remained closed on Saturday due to shortage of jabs. Can vaccination for all be done like this?”

“We have been told that the central government would get supply of all doses before May 15,” Sidhu added.

An inadequate supply of Covid-19 shots has hit the vaccination drive in Punjab with 310 centres administering the jabs across the state were closed. The state on Tuesday witnessed one of the lowest single-day vaccination tally at 35,833. Of these, 9761 were those getting the second shot.

This despite the fact that the state health department on Monday claimed to have over 1 lakh doses at its disposal. This low vaccination was attributed to poor supply of jabs and the strike by the National Health Mission (NHM) employees who had decided to boycott all Covid-related work for the day.

Director (health and family welfare) Dr GB Singh said the vaccination process was hit at 294 government-run centres and 16 private facilities. The state has a total of 3,040 vaccine centres of which 254 are run by private hospitals.

“The centres where the vaccination came to a halt did not get doses because of less availability with the districts. The supply to the centres is given on the basis of the demand and we have to maintain stock for the second dose as well,” he added.

On Tuesday, the state got 1.5 lakh doses from the central government and now has nearly 2 lakh doses available with it.

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