Jammu pharma body demands seven-day lockdown as vaccination for above 18 hits roadblock

By Express News Service
Just three days after the rollout of the Covid vaccination programme for those in the 18-44 age group, the process is just about crawling across the country.

Chart topper Gujarat has barely crossed 1 lakh cumulative vaccinations in that age group, followed by Rajasthan (75,817), Maharashtra (73,455), Haryana (54,946) and Delhi (39,799), apparently due to vaccine shortage. 

Reports of acute scarcity of jabs came from various states, including Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. While Andhra has fully exhausted its stock, just 1.58 lakh doses of vaccines are available in Telangana, said Dr G S Rao, Director of Public Health. 

Karnataka received five lakh vials of Covishield on Monday, but Kerala was awaiting fresh stock. As on May 2, it had just 2,67,510 doses.

Maharashtra has purchased about 3 lakh doses for the 18+ age group but has no stock for the 45+ population for which the Centre is the only provider. 

Meanwhile, the Centre announced it has already placed orders for 11 crore doses of Covishield and 5 crore doses of Covaxin for May through July amid concerns that no recent orders were issued.

The clarification came amid Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawala saying that the vaccine supply crunch will continue for at least 2-3 months.

The impetus to prepare for the crisis ought to come from the Centre and not on SII, he said.