Several States in India are following the policies followed by the Andhra Pradesh government with regards to the measures taken to curb COVID cases and vaccine management in the State. It may be recollected that AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy stated to the Central Government that two doses of vaccination should be completed for those over 45 years of age, taking into account the production capacity of vaccines in the country. After that, those between the ages of 18 - 45 should be inoculated. This was met with criticism from the opposition TDP leaders in the state against the Chief Minister decision.
But this widely appreciated and following suit States like Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Assam have also announced that they will vaccinate those over 18 years of age from May 1st. This was only after they had observed the situation at the field level and followed the AP government policy.
With this, the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana have stated that they cannot currently vaccinate people between the ages of 18 and 45. Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Assam have also decided to vaccinate those over 45 years of age.
AP CM Jagan after a review meeting over the vaccination situation in the State decided to conduct global tenders for the purchase of vaccines, as the domestic ones were not available to meet the needs of the State. The state government on Thursday issued global tenders which are likely to open by June 3.
In this context, the states of Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi have also recently decided to call for global tenders for vaccines. A few other states are mulling the thought of following the same idea to alleviate the vaccine shortage.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's policies are being appreciated nationwide as he follows a pragmatic approach combined with a scientific perspective.
The Centre asked the States to procure vaccine from the manufacturers and use it to vaccinate people in the age group of 18-45, the AP government had requested it to permit it to first complete the 45+ age group before taking up vaccination of 18+ category. However, the Centre did not permit the State to do so initially. The issue was discussed at length in the State Cabinet meeting held in the first week of May. The Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, resolved that vaccines allocated by the Centre and vaccines procured by the State on its own will be first used for vaccinating the 45+ age group. There is an estimated 1.3 crore population in the State aged above 45 years.
Asserting that the entire country is fighting a battle with Covid-19, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said that vaccination is the only way to win over the pandemic and stated that the Centre has to come out with alternatives to increase the vaccine production in order to fill the gaps for vaccination drives.
Speaking on the occasion of releasing the first tranche of YSR Rythu Bharosa on Thursday, the Chief Minister said that the Central Government has to take steps to increase vaccine production to meet the existing demand. In the current scenario, if about 26 crore people over the age of 45 are there in the country, they should be given a total of 52 crore doses. Similarly, those between the ages of 18 and 45 are 60 crores and they require 120 crore doses. Thus, a total of 172 crore doses would be required to vaccinate everyone across the country, but so far only about 18 crore doses have been administered, which is less than 10 percent of the actual requirement, he said.
He said that in Andhra Pradesh alone, over seven crore doses would be required to cover all those above 18 years, but the Centre has given only 73 lakh doses till date.
In regard to vaccine production, the Chief Minister said that currently, only two companies are manufacturing vaccines across the country with just seven crore doses per month, while Bharat Biotech is producing one lakh doses, Serum Institute is making six lakh doses per month. He said that with this situation, the fight against Covid would get rather difficult.