Centre Boosts Vaccine Supply To States; 18-44 Group Get Under 1 Lakh Jabs On Day 1

The central government will supply 56 lakh vaccine doses to states in the next three days, says a press release by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

This will help states accelerate vaccination of those above 45 years of age as well as healthcare and frontline workers.

As on May 1, BloombergQuint had computed that vaccine supplies—existing balance with states plus pipeline supply by the central government—had fallen to 96.44 lakh doses, enough for just 3 days of vaccination, based on the average vaccination rate in April.

As on May 2, that aggregate number now stands at 1.34 crore doses—78,60,779 doses in stock with states and 56,20,670 arriving from the central government. That should give states about five days of supply.

The 18-44 Years Population

To vaccinate those aged between 18-45, the states have to procure their own supply, as per the central government’s Apr. 19 policy that lowered the eligible age to 18 years.

Given just 11 days to do so, states have been scrambling to arrange supplies from the two domestic producers—Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. Private hospitals can also provide vaccination by purchasing supplies from the open market. Both states and private hospitals can also import approved vaccines.

As May 1, 11.20 pm, 84,599 beneficiaries of the age group 18-44 years received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine today, the ministry’s press release said. This marked the first day of vaccination for this age group.

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