Several Indian states, including Odisha, are keen to procure COVID-19 vaccines from the world market to speed up the process of inoculation. But it may not be smooth sailing for the state governments to get vaccines from abroad.
Check out the experience of Punjab government, for example.
Keen on procuring Moderna’s COVID Vaccine, codenamed mRNA-1273, Punjab government had approached the American company.
But Moderna Inc turned down the government’s request, saying that it will deal only with the Central government, state nodal officer Vikas Garg informed.
“One of the COVID vaccine manufacturers ‘Moderna’ has refused to send the vaccine directly to the Punjab government as according to their policy, they only deal with the Government of India and not with any state government or private parties,” stated the Punjab government.
Apart from Moderna, the Punjab government has also approached Sputnik V, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson on chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s direction.
“All efforts are being made for procurement of vaccines to meet the acute shortage in the state, which has received fewer than 44 lakh vaccine doses so far from the Government of India,” the statement said, adding that vaccination in the state had to be stopped three days ago because of unavailability of vaccines.
Garg pointed out that Punjab has so far been able to buy only 4.2 lakh vaccine doses from the open market.