Telangana: Vaccination for 18+ likely from June

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said that vaccine shortage is the reason why vaccination for 18+ has been postponed for time being.

Hyderabad: Telangana government is likely to launch COVID-19 vaccination for people age above 18 from June, depending on their availability, reports said.

The rise in demand, production challenges and commitments put the vaccine manufacturers in Hyderabad and Pune (Covaxin and Covishield respectively) in a tough spot. The third phase of vaccinations for everyone above 18 years of age was to begin on May 1 across the country.

“We were told by the vaccine manufacturers that by June or July, the status of vaccine production will improve. By that time, more Covid vaccines, manufactured by other companies including single-dose vaccines of Johnson and Johnson, will also be available in the country. This could further ease the demand,” chief secretary Somesh Kumar said on Wednesday, as quoted by Telangana Today.

The chief secretary also said that the state needs nearly 3.5 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine, so that the entire population of 1.5 crore individuals between 18 years and 44 years in Telangana can be vaccinated at one go. 

Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting these difficulties and seeking the Centre’s intervention, he added.

Earlier in April, the Telangana government announced that it will vaccinate the state’s entire population free of cost irrespective of age. The chief minister said that it would cost more than Rs 2500 crores to vaccinate everyone.

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