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Madhya Pradesh To Begin Free COVID Vaccination For 18+ On 5 May; 5.29 Cr Doses Ordered

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday, announced that the state will start vaccinating 18-44 year olds from May 5, free of cost amid COVID surge

PTI/ANI

PTI/ANI


As states grapple with vaccine shortage, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday, announced that the state will start vaccinating 18-44 year olds from May 5, free of cost. He estimated that 5.29 crore doses will be required by the state to cover its young population. Madhya Pradesh has 87,189 COVID active cases, 4,95,367 recovered cases and 5812 fatalities.

Madhya Pradesh to begin vaccination on May 5

Chouhan stated that the state government had placed orders to purchase 4.76 crore Covishield doses and 52.25 lakh Covaxin doses. While both manufacturers have not given a date when they will supply to the state, Chouhan stated that the state will administer 1.5 lakh doses per day. The state govt has joined Bihar, Kerala, Tamil nadu, Uttarakhand, Bengal, Punjab, Jammu-Kashmir in declaring journalists as frontline workers - prioritising their inoculation.

India's vaccine shortage crisis

On April 19, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved an advance payment of Rs 4,567.50 crores to Serum Institute of India (SII) & Bharat Biotech (BBL) to ramp up vaccine production. SII has been approved Rs 3,000 crores while BBL has been approved Rs 1567.50 crores by the Finance Ministry to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine production to produce 100/million doses and 60 million/doses per month. Centre has already roped in three public sector companies - Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd , Mumbai, Indian Immunologicals Limited, Hyderabad and Bharat Immunologicals & Biologicals Limited, Bulandshahr to ramp up their vaccine capacity and produce vaccine doses. Centre has also relaxed the age bar for vaccination from May 1 onwards allowing 18+ to be vaccinated, and states to procure doses from manufacturers directly.

Both Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India (SII) have offered vaccines at RS 150/dose to Centre, but at Rs 300 and Rs 400 respectively to state governments. Soon enough, most state governments placed lakhs of orders with the two vaccine manufacturers, but are yet to receive their orders. States like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Jammu-Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Delhi have postponed their vaccination drive by two weeks atleast due to a shortage of vaccine doses. The Co-WIN portal which opened registration for those above 18 years, only allows registration as most states do not have stocks to schedule vaccination appointments.

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