Elderly women get the second dose of vaccine in Patiala on Thursday. (ANI)
Elderly women get the second dose of vaccine in Patiala on Thursday. (ANI)

Vaccination makers likely to give Punjab delivery dates for 18+ today

State health department officials cite Centre’s assurance, say date of starting drive will depend on schedule
By Ravinder Vasudeva, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON APR 30, 2021 01:51 AM IST

The Punjab government is likely to get the schedule for the delivery of the anti-coronavirus shots ordered for vaccinating those aged above 18 by Friday.

“No assurance has been given by the two vaccine manufactures about the delivery. But in a meeting through video conferencing, the Centre on Thursday assured the states that the manufactures will convey about the supply of doses tomorrow,” principal secretary (health and family welfare) Hussan Lal said.

Lal said the date of starting the vaccination drive will depend on the schedule and the consequent delivery of doses. The states were also assured that the manufactures may start the supply in small batches for a few days depending on the volume of production, he added.

The Punjab health department has made it clear that it will not be possible to start the campaign to vaccinate all above 18 years of age from May 1 as was announced by the central government because of shortage of doses.

The state, last week, had booked an order of 30 lakh doses of Covishield with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII). An order was also placed with Bharat Biotech for the supply of Covaxine vaccine, it is learnt.

A health department official said currently the state is left with a stock of only less than 1 lakh doses and it will suffice for the next day only.

“If the supplies remain dry like this, we won’t be able to vaccinate our 45-plus category population or even the frontline workers. In the days to come, we need more supplies for administering the second dose as well,” the official said.

The state on Thursday is likely to administer 78,598 shots, including 19,892 second doses. “We could not conduct proper vaccinations at nearly 500 session sites of a total of 3,356 across Punjab because in the absence of supply,” said the official.

Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said the state has the capacity to administer 3 lakh doses a day provided there is enough supply from the Centre.

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