Bharat Biotech joint managing director Suchitrs Ella on Wednesday said the vaccine maker is working round the clock to ensure the supply of the vaccines at a time when 50 of its employees are fighting the infection. But some states are complaining, which is 'quite disheartening', Suchitra wrote on Twitter.
Amid the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, states are demanding more vaccines as every state is aiming at inoculating the maximum number of people before the pandemic hurls its third wave if any. From May 1, people falling in the age group of 18 to 44 years have been considered eligible for receiving vaccines. This added pressure to the ongoing vaccination drive of people above the age of 44 years. As the Centre has asked the states to prioritise the 45+ age group as they remain more vulnerable to the threat of the infection and many of them have already received the first dose of the vaccine, states are now halting the vaccination of the 18+ age group.
Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka have already stalled the vaccination of the 18+ age group so that the second doses for 45+ people are not missed.
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said Bharat Biotech has refused to provide additional vaccine doses to the Capital as it does not have stock at present. "The Covaxin manufacturer has in a letter said that it cannot provide the Delhi government vaccines due to unavailability, under the instruction of government officials concerned. It means that the central government is controlling the supply of the vaccine," Sisodia said.
Bharat Biotech is supplying vaccines directly to Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal since May 1. The shipments are small but there is no interruption in the supply, the firm has confirmed. The vaccine maker, which got the nod to conduct phase 2 and phase 3 trial of Covaxin on children below the age group of 18 years, is stepping up its vaccine production. In July, it aims to produce 3.32 crore doses and in August, the company aims to produce 7.82 crore doses.