As the country is battling the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, COVID vaccine manufacturer Moderna has refused to send vaccines directly to the Punjab government stating that according to their policy, they only deal with the Government of India and not with any state government or private parties, informed the State Nodal Officer for vaccination Vikas Garg.

In a statement issued today, Garg said that all vaccine manufacturers were approached for direct purchase of various COVID vaccines, including Sputnik V, Pfizer, Modern, and Johnson and Johnson, as per the directions of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to explore possibilities of floating a global tender for the procurement of vaccines from all possible sources to ensure early inoculation in the state. 

Divulging further, the Nodal Officer said that reply was received from Moderna only in which the company refused to deal with State Government. It may be recalled that the state government was forced to stop vaccination for Phase one and Phase two categories in the last three days because of non-availability, said Garg, adding that all efforts would be made for procurement of vaccines to meet the acute shortage in the state, which had received fewer than 44 lakh vaccine doses so far from the Government of India (GOI).

As per the GoI allocation for Phase III (18-44 age group), the state government has been able to buy only 4.2 lakh vaccine doses, including 66,000 received yesterday. A total of 3.65 lakh have already been used, leaving only 64,000 for use as of now, said Garg.

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