"We have spoken to Pfizer and Moderna for vaccines, and both the companies have refused to sell vaccines directly to us". The Centre talked to Moderna, and Pfizer, and completed negotiations within 2-3 days.
Many health experts have said that India should have, during the second half of 2020, invested in vaccine procurement through advance purchase pacts just as other major countries - the USA, the UK, Brazil, among others - had done.
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.
The new storage condition will greatly facilitate the transportation and local distribution of this vaccine to vaccination centres, as well as their storage and use at the centres.
Moderna, too, is said to have told the Punjab government that it would deal only with the Centre. "It should not happen that by the time we get vaccines, the time comes that even the antibodies of those who have been vaccinated are finished and they will again require vaccination", he said. "It was the Centre's responsibility to make vaccines available to the entire country, but it chose to sell doses to others first merely for image management across the globe", he said. However, vaccination drives for 45 and above age groups which were already operational at hospitals and other healthcare centres though have been extended with the idea of "walk-in vaccination" at government-run schools.
The deputy chief minister urged the Centre to approve Pfizer and Moderna on war footing.
"All efforts would be made for procurement of vaccines to meet the acute shortage in the state", Mr Garg said, adding that Punjab now hopes for a positive reply from RDIF and Johnson & Johnson.
"Russia gave approval to its Sputnik vaccine in August past year and it started mass vaccination in December".
"Moderna has been approved by 46 counties but India has not given its approval". The current capacity is about 85 million doses per month - 70 million doses of Covishield and 15 million doses of Covaxin. "Britain started its vaccination programme in January this year, and in that month itself, it had enough vaccines to cover 75% of its population", he said.
India is now administering three vaccines - Serum Institute of India's COVISHIELD, Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN and Russia's Sputnik V.
Pfizer, Moderna Won’t Sell Vax To Us: CM
Moderna said clinical trials show its COVID-19 vaccine is "safe and effective" in children between ages 12 and 17. The Centre neither pursued deals with the USA vaccine makers nor did it invest to scale up domestic production.
Phil Mickelson makes history with PGA Championship win
The regression we expected for Phil happened, too, as he hit only half of the fairways and also lost strokes on the greens. But he snapped a 20-hole bogey-free stretch at the 12th, then hooked his drive into the water at 13 and made double bogey.