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War Against Corona

Punjab reserves 70% doses in 18-45 age group for those with comorbidities

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh speaking at a religious function held to commemorate the 400th Prakash Purb of tenth Sikh master, Guru Tegh Bahadur, in Chandigarh on May 1, 2021. Photo: DPR/Punjab

Chandigarh, May 3 (MNN) With Punjab getting only 3.30 lakh coronavirus vaccines for 18-45 age group from Serum Institute of India for May, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday ordered that 70 per cent of these doses be reserved for individuals with comorbidities.

Remaining 30 per cent would be given to high-risk employees and workers in this age group.

Chairing a virtual review meeting, the Chief Minister announced that within these groups, district-wise allocation has also been prioritised on the basis of population index, mortality and density.
Given the “severe supply constraints”, it was decided to limit the vaccination for 18-45 age group in this phase to major urban centres, he said.
He said he was concerned over the fact that even for the 45 plus age group, there was short supply, as a result of which only a few vaccination centres were currently functioning.

The state expects 2 lakh doses to arrive on Tuesday for vaccination of 45 plus category. Of the 33,46,500 Covishield doses received so far, 32,91,450 have already been utilised.

In the 18-45 age group, maximum allocation of 50 per cent for May has been prioritised for Group A comprising most-affected districts of SAS Nagar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Bathinda, and Patiala.
Another 30 per cent has been reserved for Group B districts of Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, SBS Nagar, Faridkot, Kapurthala and Gurdaspur, while 20 per cent will be utilised in other districts with least cases at present.
Allocation has been made proportionate to the population of major urban areas of Zones A and B, while for Zone C, an equal distribution of doses across has been allocated for each district.

Accepting the state’s Vaccine Expert Committee comprises Dr Gagandeep Kang, Dr Jacob John and Dr Rajesh Kumar, the Chief Minister approved expansion of the list of comorbidities to include obesity (BMI>30), disabilities (example, spinal cord injury) and multiple comorbidities determined to increase risk by a treating physician, in addition to those specified by the central government.
For the remaining 30 per cent doses available, the Chief Minister said that top three categories of prioritised people are government employees, construction workers, and teachers and other staff of government and private educational institutions.

Punjab has ordered for 30 lakh doses from the Serum Institute of India in Pune for the 18-45 category, but has been told that the allocation will be only 3.30 lakh doses for the 18–45 age group for May 2021.

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