The day after the Punjab Cabinet of Ministers decided to join COVAX to purchase covid vaccine at lower prices, the government said it was exploring options on how to partner with the institution.
IN COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, or COVAX for short, is a global initiative to promote equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Senior Punjab government officials said the state could directly supply vaccines from COVAX as the Indian government has yet to come up with a global vaccine initiative.
The government is not aware of whether an institution supplying vaccines to developing and underdeveloped member countries and organizations can administer injections to individual states without the help of the Center. If the government can partner with COVAX, it will become the first nation in the country to purchase vaccines through a global center.
Since the proposal to link was made by Dr. Gagandip Kang, head of the Punjab Expert Group on Vaccination, the government asked her to discuss the matter with WHO and GAVI.
“We do not know how the state can cooperate with COVAX. We will wait for Dr. Kang to give us more clarification as she is a member of these organizations. If possible, we will continue, ”said a government spokesman.
This was announced by the Minister of Health of Punjab Husan Lal. Indian express that if the government can work with COVAX, it will help them get the shots at very low prices. “We get Covishield for Rs 315 and Covaxin for 420 rupees. If we can connect, we get a Covishield for Rs 160. It will be very cheap. In addition, we can get vaccines from other countries for wider coverage. ”
Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan told The Indian Express that the proposal was welcomed at Thursday’s cabinet meeting: “We are exploring ways to ensure access to vaccines for our population. It was a good proposal that the Cabinet of Ministers accepted. We are exploring all the possibilities. ”
A state government spokesman said he did not think the Center would have problems if an individual state approached COVAX directly. “If they can allow other states to do global bidding, they can always allow the state to contact COVAX as well,” he said.
India has so far allowed only three vaccines – Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik – to be used for emergency use in the country.
So far, the government has ordered 30 lakh doses of Covishield. The Serum Institute of India confirmed only 4.29 lakhs, of which 1 varnish was obtained.