The decision by Andhra Pradesh to use the batch of vaccines for those above 45 years will result in the state government spending more from the state exchequer.

Representative image of a woman getting vaccinated
news COVID-19 Vaccine Tuesday, May 04, 2021 - 19:24

In the last week of April, the Andhra Pradesh government had reached out to vaccine manufacturers asking them to provide vaccines to the state “as early as possible”. The state reached out to the vaccine manufacturers after the Union government announced that state governments would have to purchase vaccines directly from manufacturers.  

According to health department sources, Andhra Pradesh is expecting the first batch of vaccines to be delivered by the companies in the next 15 days. This will include 9 lakh Covishield and 3 lakh Covaxin vaccines. Though this order was placed with the manufacturers for those in the 18 to 45 years category, the state will use this for vaccinating those above 45 years of age only.  

In a vaccine review meeting that was convened by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, he had categorically stated that the vaccination for those between 18-45 years would only begin after all those above 45 years of age are vaccinated in the state. The state government opined that it is likely that vaccination for those between 18-45 years would start only by September.  

The decision by Andhra Pradesh to use the batch of vaccines for those above 45 years will result in the state government spending more from the state exchequer but the good news is that this will ensure the process of vaccinating those above 45 years of age is completed sooner. It also indicates that the state has decided to quicken the process instead of waiting for its share from the union government's kitty.  

According to the state government, Andhra Pradesh has 2.04 crore people in the 18-45 years age group and will need 4.08 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine for those in this category. 

The Principal Secretary to the government, Muddada Ravichandra, wrote letters to Dr Krishna Ella, the Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech International Limited, Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd and also to Dr Deepak Sapra, the Chief Executive Officer, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. The letters written on April 24, accessed by TNM, mention that the vaccines can be directly supplied to the government of Andhra Pradesh and that the ‘payment towards vaccines will be made as per the commercials’.  It is interesting to note that Andhra Pradesh has written to all three manufacturers asking for 4.08 crore vaccines from them. The state probably thought based on the response from the manufacturers it will decide the further course of action.  

The letters written to the vaccine manufacturers also mentioned that the state is fully prepared and that it has in place a mechanism to vaccinate more than 6 lakh people per day. During Tikka Utsav, the vaccination drive call given by Prime Minister Modi, the Andhra Pradesh government administered 628961 doses on a single day.    

The state is also expecting an additional batch of 14 lakh vaccines which will be sent by the union government. This is meant for those above 45 years of age.    

READ: Stopped from entering village, Andhra daily wage worker with COVID-19 dies at outskirts

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.