April 28, 2021 4:19:23 am
Even as the vaccination drive for 18+ population is all set to start from May 1, the Punjab health department, which had contacted the Serum Institute of India (SII) to place an order for 30 lakh Covishield doses, is yet to receive any confirmation from the company, promising supply anytime soon.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Husan Lal, principal secretary, health, Punjab, said they contacted SII to place an order for 30 lakh doses of Covishield (at the rate of Rs 400 per dose as announced by the company for state governments), but the company ‘has not promised any supply as of now’.
“They have simply said that they will revert when they would be in a position to complete our order. There is no confirmation on our order as of now,” said Lal, adding that 1.50 lakh doses of vaccine were received Tuesday from central government and 2 lakh more were expected in a day or two.
Till now, the vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) are being supplied to the states by the Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoH&FW). But now when the drive opens for population above 18, states can directly procure from the manufacturing companies.
Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, nodal officer, Covid-19, Punjab said they are yet to contact Bharat Biotech for placing an order for Covaxin.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh in a statement Sunday had said, “Punjab government will consider approaching Astrazeneca (India) directly to avail lower price of Rs 162 per dose for Covishield.”
As per the data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) Tuesday, Punjab (with an estimated population of 3.02 crore as on October 2020) has been supplied 33.36 lakh doses of vaccine of which 32.47 lakh doses have been consumed (including 4.98% wastage) and 88,943 doses were lying balance with the state. Another 3.50 lakh doses were in pipeline supply for Punjab, as per MoH&FW.
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