Not all states to vaccinate adults from May 1

Last Updated: Friday, 30 April 2021 (22:00 IST)
New Delhi: The much-awaited phase III of the vaccination programme for all adults will not be able to commence from May 1 in several states as they have flagged shortage of vaccines and urged the eligible not to queue up at the vaccination centres.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a digital press conference on Friday asked the people not to line up at vaccination centres as Delhi, the hardest-hit city by the second wave of Covid-19 is yet to receive the vaccine doses for the new phase.
 
“We are yet to receive vaccine shots to be administered and are in touch with the company manufacturing it; we should start receiving it over two to three days...My appeal to the people is to not start queuing up outside vaccination centres so that social distancing and law and order issues don’t arise,” Mr Kejriwal said.
 
Punjab, raising the scarcity of doses, said the next phase may get delayed and people have to wait for some more time. “Punjab is not getting a required number of doses. We are waiting for more supply,” state Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu told media persons.
 
The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has too halted the new drive and said it will announce the new date soon.
 
The Karnataka government asked the people not to visit the vaccination centres till it intimates the public. “We have placed orders for one crore doses of vaccine and the manufacturers are yet to officially give us confirmation as to when they will be able to deliver. Till we intimate you, please do not visit hospitals although you have enrolled on the CoWIN portal,” Karnataka’s Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said.
 
The vaccination is unlikely to take off on Saturday in Tamil Nadu as well due to a shortage of doses. Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan told mediapersons that as per the orders of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, orders have been placed for procuring 1.5 crore vaccines. “But till now, we don’t know when it will reach. We have not received any information so far’’, he said.
 
Telangana also remained uncertain on the date of commencement of the phase as it does not have sufficient doses while Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s office said as per the availability of stocks, the complete vaccination process for the age group (18 to 44 years) in the country will not be completed until January next year.
 
The Gujarat government said though it has made necessary arrangements but still awaiting a response from manufactures over the supply.
 
The West Bengal too had written to the Centre for at least three crores vaccine doses. The Arunachal Pradesh government has deferred the roll-out of the inoculation drive until further orders citing “technical” issues.
 
Under the new phase, all adults are eligible for vaccination. Till now only healthcare and frontline workers and people of 45 years of age or above were permitted for vaccination. People have to register themselves at application COWIN or Aarogya Setu app and select a vaccination centre and slot as per the availability.
 
With the new phase, 50 per cent of doses manufactured by the pharma company will be provided to the Centre which will continue to vaccinate the people of previous phases while the remaining 50 per cent doses can be bought by the States and open markets for the eligible.
 
The vaccination programme in the country began from the mid of January and so far 16.33 crore doses have been administered. (UNI)