Punjab Chief Minister Captain (retired) Amarinder Singh on Sunday directed the State Health Department to order 30 lakh Covishield doses for vaccination of the 18-45 age group, with directions to use Chief Minister Covid Relief Fund for meeting the vaccine requirements of the needy.
The Chief Minister asked the health department to immediately place an order for the 30 lakh doses with the Serum Institute of India (SII) so that the supplies can start coming in at the earliest.
To ensure free vaccination of the needy in government hospitals, Chief Minister Amarinder said in addition to the CM COVID relief fund, CSR (Corporate social responsibility) funds should also be tapped into. Employees' State Insurance (ESIC) should be asked to support the vaccination of industrial workers covered in the scheme, and the Board for Welfare of Construction Workers for construction labourers, he added.
Reviewing the vaccination strategy, the Chief Minister requested the Expert Group led by Dr Gagandeep Kang to submit the strategy for prioritisation of 18-45 years group (vulnerable groups in high-risk areas, high transmission, high mortality etc including construction workers and industrial workers) in its first report by April 29.
He also made it clear that in pursuing the 18-45 age group vaccination strategy, the state government will not compromise on vaccination of the 45 plus age group.
The Chief Minister further said the government will consider approaching Astrazeneca (India) directly to allow the Punjab government to avail the lower price of Rs 162 per dose available to the global community.
The state has so far received 29,36,770 doses of Covishield (including 3.5 lakh doses meant for Armed Forces Medical Services [AFMS] and Central Healthcare Workers) and 3.34 lakh doses of Covaxin, according to the state government.
Out of the available stock of vaccine till April 22, 25.48 lakh doses of Covishield and 2.64 lakh doses of Covaxin had been utiliwed, leaving the state with only 2.81 lakh doses of Covishield and 27,400 doses of Covaxin in its stock.
The Health Department had on April 22 written to the Union Health Ministry seeking additional supply of 10 lakh doses of Covishield, to be made available on priority to enable the state to meet its immediate requirement.
( With inputs from ANI )
Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor