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Serum Institute Says It Can’t Supply More Covishield Doses to Maharashtra Until May 26


Serum Institute Says It Can’t Supply More Covishield Doses to Maharashtra Until May 26
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The CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), Adar Poonawalla has told the Maharashtra Government that the firm will be unable to supply more doses of the Covishield vaccine until May 26. The development was disclosed by Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope who quoted a conversation between Poonawalla and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. 

“Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had a telephonic chat with Poonawalla, currently in London, on the issue and was informed they could not give doses till May 26,” Tope said while addressing the media on Friday.  

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Tope went on to say that vaccinating the citizens is the government’s top priority and that the state will take every appropriate measure to obtain vaccines from the manufacturers. He added that the state is capable of administering at least 8 to 10 lakh doses daily provided vaccines are available in adequate quantities. 

The Health Minister reiterated the urgency to acquire doses of Covaxin for those awaiting their second shot. “The state has written several letters to the Centre for the Covaxin doses. However, if the supply does not come on time we have no other option but to divert the doses purchased by the state for the age group 18-44 group for this group of beneficiaries who need the second shot of Covaxin,” Tope said.

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Though vaccinations officially began for people between the ages of 18 to 44 on May 1, only 2.15 lakh beneficiaries have been vaccinated so far. The state had acquired 3 lakh doses of Covishield and 4.79 lakh doses of Covaxin for this phase of the vaccination programme. Officials are currently waiting for an additional 3 lakh doses of Covishield.

“The pace of vaccination is slow as there are limited doses but we are sparing no efforts to ensure adequate availability,” Tope added.

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