Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct Bharat Biotech to do a “technology transfer” of manufacturing COVAXIN to ramp up the the company’s COVID-19 vaccine. Reddy, in a letter to Modi, also said that the Indian Council of Medical Research – National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV) should provide the viral strain to whoever is interested and capable of manufacturing the vaccine.
“Please explore the possibility of involving all such production firms and enable them with the technology, IPR etc, to deliver the vaccine as quickly and as affordable as possible. This shall ensure that IPRs/patents etc, if any, are not a hindrance. Anyone who can manufacture or he is interested to manufacture the vaccine should be encouraged to do so in larger public interest,” stated Jagan Mohan Reddy in his letter to Modi.
The Andhra Pradesh chief minister stated that the entire manufacturing capacity should be mobilized and put to use “in these testing times”. In his plea to Modi with regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, Jagan Mohan Reddy also pointed out that average count of cases per day in Andhra Pradesh over the last seven days stand at 20,300 and that as of Tuesday the state has 1,86,695 active cases.
“We have taken all the steps necessary to prevent further infections and provide quality treatment care and support. While certain temporary measures like curfew, restrictions are taken up, we ultimate solution and is in vaccinating every individual as early as possible. One of the measures we have been striving, is to provide a vaccine to all eligible and vulnerable population as per national guidelines at the earliest opportunity,” said Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Andhra Pradesh, like Telangana, has been dealing with a huge surge in COVID-19 cases daily. On Tuesday, the Telangana government, led by chief minister K. Chandrsekhar Rao, also announced a lockdown starting May 12, for a period of 10 days. ALl activities will be allowed only from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily, otherwise. Both the Telugu states have also been complaining of a shortage in the number of vaccine doses they have received.
While the Centre had announced earlier that anyone over 18 years of age can take the COVID-19 vaccine, state governments are still prioritising only people over 45 years of age due to the shortage..