India / Will Centre entirely fund COVID-19 vaccines?: Punjab CM asks PM Modi

Zoom News : Dec 07, 2020, 07:52 AM
Chandigarh: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure priority allocation of COVID-19 vaccine to Punjab on account of its higher mortality rate and high levels of co-morbidities in the state.

In a letter from the Punjab CMO, Capt Amarinder said despite its relatively low case load, there is higher fatality rate due to Covid in Punjab, which thus needs special dispensation in the allocation of the vaccine.

Pointing out that the vaccines currently under consideration would not perhaps reduce transmission so much as prevent serious disease, the Punjab chief minister said that the best use of these vaccines would therefore be in preventing serious illness in the most susceptible groups, including elderly and persons with high morbidity.

Furthermore, Capt Amarinder also sought clarity as to whether the Covid-19 vaccination would be entirely funded by the Centre or now, including the cost of vaccines and vaccination supplies. He further asked for clarity on the principles based on which the prioritized groups are to be identified for sequential immunization phases, and leave the preparation of the list of prioritized groups to the state.

The chief minister also sought to know whether the definition of frontline workers for the purpose of immunization could be expanded to include administrative officials and other essential staff. How the general population will be vaccinated, whether those who have once been infected with Covid-19 are eligible for vaccination are a few issues that Singh sought clarity on.

Moreover, on the issue of engagement of private sector for vaccination, Captain Amarinder Singh said that at present, there are no adult immunization programmes that target adults, even in campaigns, so there will be challenges in implementation. Given that private practitioners and facilities provide a significant proportion of healthcare services in cities, Captain Amarinder Singh said that it would be helpful to understand how the services of private group are to be best utilized to lessen the burden on the public system. Even if a decision is made that the private sector is not to be used for the delivery of publicly procured vaccines, the Chief Minister emphasized the need to clarify in what will be available to the private sector in terms of vaccines.

Thanking PM Modi for taking special steps to make the Covid-19 vaccine available to all citizens, Captain said that Punjab has already undertaken preparatory activities for an effective vaccination programme as per the guidelines received from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Meanwhile, unjab on Sunday reported 10 more deaths, pushing the toll to 4,915, while 802 new cases took the infection count to 1,56,226.

There are 7,896 active COVID-19 cases in the state as of now, according to a medical bulletin.

Mohali reported 157 new cases, followed by 114 in Ludhiana and 86 in Amritsar, among the fresh cases witnessed in the state.

A total of 623 coronavirus patients were discharged after recovering from the infection, taking the number of thosse recovered to 1,43,415, as per the bulletin.

Twelve critical patients are on ventilator support while 166 are on oxygen support, it said.

A total of 33,52,671 samples have been collected for testing so far in the state, the bulletin said.