By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 2: Covid vaccination programme for the age group of 18-44 years is likely to be deferred at least for some more days as the State Government’s order for vaccine is yet to arrive in the State.
It may be noted that the Covid vaccination programme for the age group 18-44 which was supposed to roll out on May 1 last has not yet begun till date.
A highly placed source in the State Medical Department confided that the available stock for COVID vaccine after distribution to vaccination centres in the State has dropped to just around 60,000.
It also said that the Medical Department has to reserve some vaccines for the people who need the second dose.
As such, it is still uncertain when and where the Covid vaccination programme for the people whose ages are between 18 and 44 will be started in the State.
When contacted on the matter, State Nodal Officer (Immunization) Dr Thokchom Nandakishore of the State Health Mission said that the State Government has ordered 3 lakhs of Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India.
Saying that the Covid vaccination programme for the population group of 18 to 44 years has not begun as the vaccines ordered from Serum Institute of India is pending, he maintained that no particular date for the supply of the vaccine has been fixed by the pharmaceutical company although it verbally assured of sending the vaccines soon.
“Officials of the State Health Department and State Government have been communicating with the Serum Institute of India almost on daily basis on the vaccine order. However, no written statement or reply has been received from the pharmaceutical company other than verbal assurance of sending the same soon”, he said.
He further stated that it will be difficult to fix the schedule for starting the vaccination drive for the particular age group unless the vaccines ordered by the State Government are received.
While informing that the pharmaceutical company is most likely to supply the demands of the State Governments before it reaches private hospitals and institutions, the SNO exuded confidence that the Manipur Government may get its vaccine soon.
He further informed that around 60,000 people have received second dose of the Covid vaccine.
On the other hand, Shija Hospitals & Research Institute Managing Director Dr Kh Palin informed that the institution has closed the COVID vaccination programme since today as the State Government is not providing further vaccines.
He said that the private medical institution has advised those who took the first dose of the vaccine to go to State Government facilities for receiving the second dose.
When asked whether SHRI has ever tried to procure Covid vaccines from pharmaceutical companies, the Managing Director replied that there is very little chance of getting the vaccines within a short time as there are huge demands for the vaccine throughout the country.