Vaccine manufacturer Moderna Inc has refused to deliver doses against the coronavirus to Punjab directly stating that it deals only with the Centre for vaccination supplies according to its policies, a senior state government official has said.
State nodal officer for vaccination Vikas Garg said that as directed by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, all vaccine manufacturers, including Sputnik V, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, were approached for direct transaction with the state to ensure early inoculation of the citizens of Punjab. Garg said that Moderna refused to take part in any deal citing policy decisions.
Punjab was forced to stop vaccination for a large number of beneficiaries, including frontline and healthcare workers and senior citizens, in the last three days because of non-availability of doses. The state has so far received less than 44 lakh doses from the Centre. All efforts would be made for procurement of vaccines to meet the shortage in the state, said Garg.
According to the Centre’s allocation, the state government has been able to buy only 4.2 lakh doses for vaccinating people in the 18-44 age group. Of this, 66,000 were received on Saturday. A total of 3.65 lakh doses have already been used and only a stock of 64,000 doses remains as of now, said Garg.