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After Moderna, Pfizer declines Punjab request for vaccines

In an email to the state, Covid vaccine manufacturer Pfizer, while appreciating the “extraordinary efforts of the state government”, said that as policy, they only deal with the Centre.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
May 25, 2021 7:59:10 am
Beneficiaries wait in a queue to receive COVID-19 vaccine dose at a vaccination centre in Jalandhar, Saturday, May 22, 2021. (PTI Photo)

A day after Moderna declined Punjab’s request to procure Covid vaccines directly, Pfizer also wrote to the Amarinder government on Monday stating they do not deal directly with states.

In an email to the state, Covid vaccine manufacturer Pfizer, while appreciating the “extraordinary efforts of the state government”, said that as policy, they only deal with the Centre.

Pfizer in its communication said: “Pfizer is working with federal governments across the world to supply its Covid-19 vaccine for use in national immunisation programs. Our supply agreements at this time are with national governments and supra-national organisations with allocation of doses and implementation within the country being a decision that governments take based on relevant health authority guidance. This approach Pfizer has followed across the world.”

The state government is yet to hear from other manufacturers of Sputnik V and Johnson & Johnson. “We are pinning our hopes on them,” said government’ nodal officer for vaccination Vikas Garg.

Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu told The Indian Express that they were disappointed by the manufacturer’s refusal. “It is an inhuman approach. How does it matter to these companies whether we are a state government or a union government? It has only delayed our vaccination. Had they agreed, we would have been in a position to place an order now,” he said.

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