Give priority to Maharashtra in vaccine allocation: Tope to Poonawalla
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday urged Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla to give priority to the state in providing its anti-coronavirus vaccine, Covishield, as the government was ready to purchase doses from the Pune-based company. He said that the Maharashtra government was even ready to purchase the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. Here are more details.
SII has reportedly said vaccines will be provided in July-August
Talking to the media in Jaina, Tope said that since Poonawalla hails from Pune, he should think about Maharashtra and give priority to his home state in allocating Covishield, which is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). He said that SII has declared it would provide vaccine doses only in July and August
COVID-19 cases declining in the state due to mini-lockdown
Tope said, "We have started the vaccination program for the 18-44 age group people, but due to a shortage of vaccines, we are unable to accelerate the program. Due to a mini-lockdown currently in force in Maharashtra, COVID-19 cases are declining in the state."
Will follow Centre's lead on lockdown: Tope
Tope said, "In view of the rising cases in the country, US epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci has suggested a lockdown for a few weeks in India as an immediate step to contain the spread of the coronavirus." "It is up to the Indian government to decide on the issue and the Maharashtra government will follow the direction of the Centre," Tope added.
Maharashtra recorded 48,621 new COVID-19 cases on Monday
On Monday, Maharashtra reported 48,621 new COVID-19 cases and 567 deaths. The total tally of COVID-19 cases is 47,71,022. The state has so far reported a total of 70,851 COVID-19 deaths and 40,41,158 COVID-19 recoveries. The state currently has 6,59,013 COVID-19 active cases.
Indian government has ordered 11 crore vaccine doses from SII
Earlier on Monday, Poonawalla said that his firm cannot ramp up production overnight as vaccine making is a specialized process. "SII has orders from the Indian government to supply 11 crore more doses over the next few months on top of 15 crore already supplied. Another 11 crore doses will be supplied to states and private hospitals in the next few months," he said.
Centre refutes claims of not placing fresh vaccine orders
Notably, a report in the Business Standard published earlier in the day had claimed that the Centre has not yet placed fresh orders with the two Indian vaccine manufacturers. However, the Central Government has refuted such claims citing that as of date, against the last order of 10 crore doses of supplies of Covishield vaccine, 8.744 crore doses have been delivered till May 3.