The Punjab government on Tuesday flagged to the Centre about shortage of Covishield vaccine doses and said it only has just over a lakh Covaxin shots left.
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has informed the Centre about his demand for more supply of vaccines to help the state vaccinate the 18-45 age group so as to complete vaccination of all eligible persons in the next two months, according to a government statement.
Even as the CM ordered expanding vaccination to include the entire population in the 18-45 age group, subject to availability, the chief minister said the efforts would remain focused on covering the categories prioritised earlier.
The state government had set a target to immunise all the eligible people in two months, followed by the second vaccine dose as per schedule, he added.
Currently, 4.8% of Punjab’s eligible population is fully vaccinated, with Mohali leading the chart in both the first one and second doses.
The chief minister claimed the state government had already vaccinated more than 62 lakh eligible persons and had been utilising the vaccine stock without any wastage.
However, the CM noted that there is a gross shortage of vaccines, with no stock of Covishield in the state as of today, and only a small stock of Covaxin is available.
Pointing out that the state has been repeatedly taking up the issue of inadequate doses with the Government of India, Captain Amarinder said this has assumed critical importance as Punjab has slowly been opening up sectors, provided that the stakeholders have taken at least one vaccine dose.
He said he will take up the matter again with the Union Health Ministry on an urgent basis, and escalate it to the Prime Minister if needed.
State Health Minister Balbir Sidhu, meanwhile, questioned the larger number of doses received from the Centre by BJP-ruled states like Haryana and Gujarat.