RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to step in to make vaccines available for states to launch a vaccination campaign for the 1845 group, pointing out that Bharat Biotech has informed the state government that it would make efforts to supply vaccines only by the end of July.
“We have placed an order for 25 lakh doses of Covaxin. If the company is taking three months, it will take about a year to get the required vaccine doses. This might defeat the purpose of vaccination”, he said in a letter sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chhattisgarh government has already prepared a roadmap for launching the vaccination programme for the 18-45 age group from 1st May as announced by the Prime Minister and had also placed orders to procure 25 lakh doses each of Covishield and Covaxin.
“Now, Bharat Biotech has sent an email informing that the company would make efforts to supply vaccine by the end of July”, he pointed out.
Pointing out that country would require about 150-200 crore doses of vaccine for inoculation of the 1845 group, the chief minister said it appears that both Serum Institute of India (SSI) and Bharat Biotech doesn’t have the production capacity to simultaneously meet the vaccine demand for the entire country.
“ With regard to vaccines, the government must demonstrate its will power, arrange to enhance vaccine production by allowing other companies”, he said adding that this was inevitable to ensure that the very objective of vaccination is not defeated because of undue delay in availability of vaccines.
In his letter, the chief minister urged Prime Minister Modi to appraise all states about the centre’s action plan for vaccination of the 18-45 group and its aspects of practical implementation.
He suggested that vaccine allocation to states must be made based on population, positivity ratio and active patient’s ratio so that all states could simultaneously start vaccination for this particular age group.
Baghel reiterated his appeal to the Prime Minister to bring uniformity in prices of Covid vaccines and to remove all taxes on life-saving Covid vaccines to make them available at the lowest possible prices.
The chief minister pointed out that Chhattisgarh would require about 2.60 crore doses of vaccine to inoculate 1.30 crore people in the age group of 18-45 years.
He said the state can vaccinate nearly three lakh people in a day.