Don’t have vaccines to start jabs from May 1, says MP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Madhya Pradesh will not be able to start the vaccination of people in the 18-44 age group from May 1 due to non-availability of vaccines by the manufacturers, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced on Thursday, joining a growing list of states that have pointed to supply bottlenecks to deliver on the Centre’s announcement.
Chouhan said Madhya Pradesh is expected to receive the first round of vaccine supplies on May 3 and will start the vaccination drive accordingly.
Madhya Pradesh is the first major BJP-ruled state to announce its inability to launch the vaccination drive from May 1.
The Centre last week opened the immunisation drive to all adults and allowed states and private hospitals to procure directly from vaccine manufacturers at prices fixed by the private companies. The move came against the backdrop of recommendations from experts that quickly vaccinating all adults was crucial to fighting the devastating surge of infections.
But the two vaccine manufacturers, Serum Institute of India and the Bharat Biotech, have indicate to several states that they would have to go slow. On Thursday, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel told PM Narendra Modi in a letter that the supply schedule for 25 lakh vaccines by Bharat Biotech implied that it could take his government a year to inoculate the entire state. Serum Institute, he said in the letter, hadn’t even responded to their request.
The city government in national capital Delhi has also made it clear that they may not be able to start the third phase of Covid-19 vaccination from Saturday because the city hasn’t received its first order of jabs and private hospitals may get consignments weeks later.
“We don’t have enough vaccines. We have requested for procurement of vaccines from the respective companies. Despite all preparations being made, availability of vaccines is a must for the inoculation to begin,” said Delhi health minister Satyender Jain.