Inoculation drive may be delayed for 18-44 in AP, Telangana following vaccine shortage

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Hyderabad/Amaravati, Apr 29 (PTI) Hit by shortage of COVID-19 vaccine, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh may not be able to start the mass immunisation for those aged between 18 and 44 from May 1, official sources in both the states said on Thursday.

A senior official of Telangana health department said though the state government is in touch with vaccine manufacturers, there is no certainty on when the stocks would be available for the mass vaccination.

'There are no possibilities (of vaccination).We are in the process of getting a vaccine where there is no vaccine available in the country.We are in touch with the manufacturers also,' Telangana Public Health Director G Srinivasa Rao told PTI.

'We are in search of the vaccine.We require around four crore doses,' he said.

He said the vaccine manufacturers also could not assure the state government as to when they will be able to supply stocks.

The vaccine rates have been fixed by the Centre and accordingly the state will have to place their requirements with the manufacturers, he added.

The official, however, said vaccination for people above 45 years of age will continue as the doses are supplied by the Centre.

According to a senior official in Andhra Pradesh, inoculation may not start on May 1 in the State as planned due to delay in procurement of vaccine from manufacturers.

The official said the state government has already written to the manufacturers for vaccine supplies and yet to get confirmation from them, hinting that there may be delay for those in the 18-44 age group.

Amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases in the country, the government has decided to allow everyone above 18 years of age to get vaccinated from May 1.

Registration for vaccination for all those aged 18-44 years began on the CoWIN platform and Aarogya Setu App from April 28.

An official release from Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddys office on Thursday said as per the availability of stocks and eligible people (18 to 44 years) in the country, the complete vaccination process for them will not be completed until January next year.

Reddy appealed to people to maintain hygiene and observe COVID-19 protocols to keep thecontagion at bay.PTI GDK BN BALA BN BALA