Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid India: Some states delay vaccination for 18-45 age group

Web report/Mumbai
Filed on April 30, 2021
Photo: AFP

State governments cite non-availability of jabs.

Just a day before India is to launch its ambitious drive to inoculate millions of people in the 18-45 age group against the devastating Covid-19 virus, states have started delaying the project citing non-availability of vaccines.

Unfortunately, it coincides with the continued surge in the number of people becoming victim to the virus. The past few days have seen 300,000 new Covid-19 cases being registered daily and over 2,000 deaths every day.

Many state governments appeared helpless on Friday as they informed their citizens about the non-availability of the much-vaunted vaccines produced by two domestic companies, who were to meet their needs.

The Indian government announced the launch of the new programme from May 1, with 50 per cent of the vaccines being allocated to it for distribution to states and the rest for the open market. However, controversies continue to dog the issue of the open market sale of the life-saving essential drug and a resolution appeared distant on the eve of the launch of the programme.

Several states have announced delays in launching the third phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive. They include Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Gujarat, states ruled by both the BJP and its affiliates and other opposition parties.

There are fears that with millions lining up outside vaccination centres all over the country from Saturday, there could be another outburst of the disease.

Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi chief minister, said all citizens would be vaccinated over a period of three months and urged them not to queue outside vaccination centres from Saturday.

“My appeal to the people is to not start queuing up outside vaccination centres so that social distancing and law and order issues do not arise,” said Kejriwal.

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