Maharashtra may get Covishield supply only after May 20
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope today said that the state may receive its supply of the Covishield vaccine only after May 20. He said that procuring coronavirus vaccines remains a challenge and the state needs at least a week's quota delivered at a time in order to vaccinate the maximum number of people. Here are more details on this.
'SII can supply Covishield after May 20'
"The Serum Institute of India (SII) has informed the state government that it can supply the Covishield vaccine only after May 20," Tope told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday. He informed that Maharashtra alone requires 12 crore vaccine doses to inoculate the population of 5.71 crore in the age group of 18 to 44 years.
Centre recently allowed direct sale of vaccines to states
The central government has expanded its COVID-19 vaccination strategy in the third phase under which citizens aged above 18 can get inoculated from May 1. It also allowed vaccine makers to sell 50% of their produce directly to state governments and private players, while the rest will be sold to the Centre. The Centre will continue vaccinating frontline workers and those aged above 45.
What are the prices for vaccines available in India?
The Pune-based Serum Institute, the world's largest vaccine maker in terms of volume, has set a price of Rs. 400 per dose for state governments and Rs. 600 per dose for private hospitals. Bharat Biotech has announced a price of Rs. 600 per dose for state governments and Rs. 1,200 per dose for private hospitals. The price for Centre is Rs. 150 per dose.
Centre asks firms to lower vaccine prices
However, several states have objected to the differential pricing of the coronavirus vaccines, with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal saying that it is not the time for profiteering. He has urged manufacturers to bring down the price to Rs. 150 per dose. After the criticism, the Centre on Monday asked the two companies to cut the prices of their vaccines.
Rajasthan, Punjab also flagged shortage of vaccines
Recently, Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma had revealed that the Serum Institute asked them to wait until May 15 for the delivery of doses. Three other states, including Chhattisgarh, Punjab, and Jharkhand have also flagged shortage of vaccines
The dreadful COVID-19 situation in India
India is in dire need of more vaccines as it grapples with unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last 24 hours, the country reported over 3.23 lakh new cases and 2,771 fatalities. This is the sixth consecutive day that India logged more than three lakh cases. Several states, including Delhi, are suffering from a shortage of hospital beds and medical oxygen.