Citing a current demand of more than two lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses for the second dose alone, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday demanded 40 lakh more doses from the Centre on an urgent basis to inoculate the state’s eligible population.
The state was expecting 2.46 lakh vaccines to arrive on Tuesday but the Chief Minister, during a Covid review virtual meeting, noted that vaccines remain in short supply, having run out of Covishield vaccine and left with a mere 3,500 Covaxin doses as of Monday.
Punjab has already vaccinated more than 90 lakh eligible people (nearly 37 per cent of eligible population) and has been utilising the stock without any wastage, said the Chief Minister.
While the first dose has been administered to 75 lakh people, 15 lakh had got the second dose too.
The Centre needs to arrange for immediate delivery to the state to meet the shortfall and enable inoculation of all those needing the second dose, while continuing with the vaccination of other eligible persons, said the Chief Minister.
Pointing out that the doses being supplied to private hospitals were getting wasted as people preferred to go to government hospitals for free inoculation, Health Secretary Hussan Lal informed the meeting the state has sought diversion of the stocks from the private hospitals but had not received any response so far from the Centre.