Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], May 1 (ANI): As the third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program set to start from Saturday, Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo said that the state will start the vaccination from the poorest people who have Anodaya or BPL card due to shortage of vaccine.
Talking to ANI, Deo said, "Because the Central government has said that said the vaccination of people between 18 years and 44 years is entirely the state government's responsibility, we have decided to vaccinate the poorest people in the state who have Anodaya card and priority will not be given to Above Poverty Line (APL) candidates," he said.
Deo said that this decision was taken due to a shortage of vaccines currently.
"We have a shortage of vaccine, we have placed an order of 25 crores each to two companies, and in talks for giving an order of 25 lakh more vaccines. We had two options, either to collect the whole amount needed to vaccinate the entire population in one go or to vaccinate a small population as we receive small consignments of vaccines. We decided on the latter," he said.
When asked about the reports of state government preparing its own data collection portal for vaccination drive, Deo said, "If the central government does not upload our data in its CoWin portal, then the state government is also preparing its own portal. We will collect our data there. If the central government wishes, we will share our data with them too."
"However, the central government is adamant that we use their portal. Though it is a small thing, but it does not seem right that the slip of vaccination from the CoWin portal has the photo of the Prime Minister. If the Prime Minister has decided to not give the vaccine to those aged between 18 and 45, then why should his photo come out of the postal?"
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday said the immunization centres in the state are fully ready for the COVID-19 vaccination campaign starting from May 1.
"We have decided that we will vaccinate people between 18 years to 44 years in the state free of cost, a comprehensive action plan and all arrangements have been made for this. We have completed all the preparations in all our districts for the vaccination campaign starting from May 1, all our immunization centres are fully ready," he said.
Chhattisgarh reported 14,994 new cases, 216 deaths and 12,804 recoveries on Friday. The active coronavirus cases in the state stand at 1,18,958. (ANI)