In a big announcement on Friday, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani assured that the COVID-19 vaccination drive for those aged above 18 will commence in the state from May 1 itself. However, this will be limited to 10 districts most affected by COVID-19 and shall be expanded to the rest of Gujarat depending on the availability of novel coronavirus vaccines. Incidentally, Saturday is set to be celebrated as Gujarat Foundation Day for the state formed on May 1, 1960.
Providing information on the orders placed for vaccines, Rupani revealed a day earlier, "Gujarat government will receive 2 crore doses of COVISHIELD vaccine from Serum Institute of India and 50 lakh doses of COVAXIN from Bharat Biotech. I request people above 18 years of age to take vaccines whenever we get the stock in the next 15 days". At present, there are 1,37,794 novel coronavirus cases in Gujarat while 4,08,368 patients have been discharged and 7010 deaths have been reported.
CM Shri @vijayrupanibjp in a video message assures people about the commencement of corona vaccination for the 18+ people from tomorrow, May 1, the Gujarat Foundation Day, in 10 most-affected districts and will cover the entire State as soon as the vaccine availability increases. pic.twitter.com/dXkoF3zY0v— CMO Gujarat (@CMOGuj) April 30, 2021
Apart from COVISHIELD and COVAXIN, the DCGI accepted the recommendations of the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, paving way for the approval of Sputnik V on April 12. Moreover, the Union government declared that those vaccines that have been granted emergency approval for restricted use by USFDA, EMA, UK MHRA, PMDA Japan, or which are listed in WHO (Emergency Use Listing) will be granted emergency use approval in India. In place of the local clinical trial requirement, the post-approval bridging clinical trial shall be mandated.
In a huge announcement on April 19, the Centre relaxed the age bar for vaccination from May 1 onwards and mentioned that vaccine manufacturers can supply 50 per cent of its doses to state governments and in the open market. The private hospitals shall have to procure their supplies of the COVID-19 vaccines exclusively from this quota. However, they will have to follow all protocols such as being captured on the CoWIN platform and linked to AEFI reporting.
At the same time, vaccination shall continue at Government of India vaccination centres for healthcare and frontline workers and those above 45 years. Additionally, the Centre stated that it will allocate vaccine doses to the states from the remaining 50% quota based on factors such as the number of active cases, speed of administration and vaccine wastage. While the Centre's procurement price for both COVISHIELD and COVAXIN remains at Rs.150 per dose, the state governments and private hospitals will have to purchase them at a higher cost. So far, a total of 14,78,27,367 persons have been inoculated in India.