COVID-19 inoculation drive for above 18 people fails to take off in Jharkhand

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Ranchi, May 1 (PTI) The third phase of COVID-19 inoculation for the people in the 18-44 years age bracket could not start in Jharkhand on Saturday due to unavailability of vaccines, an official said.

The programme has been postponed indefinitely and the state government will announce the launch of the drive as soon as vaccines are available, Additional Chief Secretary, Health Department, Arun Singh, told PTI.

For the age group of 18-44 years, the Jharkhand government has placed orders for 25 lakh doses each from Bharat Biotech that manufactures Covaxin and the Serum Institute which makes Covishield, but the state is yet to get any vaccine from them, Singh said.

There is an estimated 1.57 crore people in that age bracket in the state and registration for their vaccination has started.

The vaccines sent by the central government to the state for the inoculation of people above 45 years will last for around seven days and that programme is going on, Singh said.

Around 83 lakh people who are 45+ are eligible for inoculation and 30 lakh of them have been vaccinated so far.