Chandigarh, May 5 : With government hospitals in the state failing to kickstart the process of vaccinating people in the 18-44 age group due to non-availability of vaccine doses, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday directed the Health Department to explore all options for the supply of vaccination.
Though the state had made payment of Rs 10.37 crore to the Serum Institute of India (SII) for procurement of around 30 lakh doses of Covishield on April 26, no schedule for supply had so far been received from them, Health Secretary Hussan Lal informed the Cabinet during a virtual meeting chaired by the Chief Minister.
Only some private hospitals, which had placed direct orders for the vaccines, had commenced the process of vaccinating the 18-44 population, the meeting was informed.
For the state government, the SII has only indicated that the availability of Covishield will be known in about four weeks' time, he added.
The meeting was informed that in the circumstances, vaccination in the 18-44 age group could not be launched in government hospitals, nor was there any clarity on when the process could begin.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet approved one-time relaxation in Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules, 1964 for transfer of five acres of panchayat land in Mohali to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for establishment of the National Institute of Virology.
The Institute has been sanctioned by the Central government on a proposal by the Punjab government.
The cabinet authorized the Deputy Commissioner of Mohali to complete all necessary formalities for transfer of the land in Mullanpur Garibdas village in Kharar block in the district.
Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan said construction for the institute would start by the end of this year.
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