Guwahati: Assam is yet to receive a confirmation from vaccine manufacturers on the supply of doses for COVID-19 vaccination of those in the 18-44 age bracket, officials said on Friday. Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced earlier today that Centre is facilitating the procurement of more than 5 lakh doses for the state in May.
“We are following up with the manufacturers. Till now, there is no confirmation on when we will receive the supply,” a senior Assam government functionary said.
The state’s health department has written to both Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India for procuring 10 million doses each to kickstart the third phase of inoculation.
Earlier on Friday, Sarma tweeted two communications from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to the state where it is outlined that the union ministry has had consultation with the vaccine manufacturers. The letters note that 3,71,480 doses of Covishield vaccine and 1,28,830 doses of Covaxin are likely to be available for Assam in May.
Sarma had earlier admitted that the third phase of vaccination is likely to face some delays and would only start once the state receives supplies.
“When they provide us the vaccines, only then can we begin the vaccination,” he said on April 26, adding that the vaccination may not start in the first week of May.
Assam was among the first states to announce free vaccination for the 18-44 age group.
As on 5 pm on Friday, only 24,32,129 doses of vaccine were administered in the state, including 5,23, 314 second doses and 19,08,815 first doses, according to the CoWin dashboard.
On Thursday, the active number of COVID-19 cases jumped to 23,104 in the state with 3,079 new infections. The state reported the highest 26 deaths on Thursday, as per the National Health Mission’s daily bulletin.
The number of new cases in Kamrup Metropolitan district, which includes Guwahati, saw a slight decline with 1,029 new infections reported on Thursday. The district saw 1,206 new cases on Wednesday, 1,313 on Tuesday and 1,153 on Monday.
Sarma tweeted on Thursday how high number of deaths remains a concern but the state has not seen a spike in the last four days and number of cases have slowed down in Kamrup (M).