Bhopal: Vial scarcity hits inoculation of above-18-year category

BHOPAL: Scarcity of vials in the state has hit the drive to inoculate people above 18 years of age. Only 400,000 units are available this month. Because of a lack of vaccines, only a few slots will be open to those who are between 18 and 44 years of age.

The number of people of this age group to be vaccinated is 3.4 crore. The state government has ordered 45 lakh units of vaccine to the Serum Institute for this month. There are 400,000 units in the governmentís stock. Therefore, only a few people of the above-18-year category can be vaccinated this month.

The state government wants that the vaccines being sent by the central government should be used to inoculate people above 18 years. The Centre, however, is not giving permission for it. The central government is supplying vaccines to inoculate people above 45 years. For vaccinating people above 18 years, the state government has to buy vials on its own.

The health department held a meeting on Tuesday and decided that the vaccines available in the state should be used for everyone.

More than nine million people have been vaccinated in the state. Nearly 6.3 million people above 45 years are yet to get the second dose of the vaccine. Nevertheless, the people of this group do not seem to be keen on getting vaccinated.

People above 18 years, however, seem to be keener on getting the injection than those who are above 45. The vaccine slot for people above 45 is lying vacant. The officials of the health department say that a new policy will be made by the end of this month. They want that vaccination should be done as early as possible and discussions are being held for that.