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Andhra Pradesh government seeks to vaccinate all, places orders for over four crore doses

Vijayawada: The state government on Saturday wrote to three companies to place orders for 4.08 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines so that the entire population of the state can be vaccinated against the contagious disease. After intensifying vaccination by extending the campaign to people over 45 years of age in April, the government has decided to vaccinate 2.04 crore people in the 18-45 age group from May 1. A decision to this effect was taken in a high-level review meeting chaired by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday.

The chief minister spoke to Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Yella over phone to request more vaccines. On Saturday, Principal Secretary (Covid Management and Vaccination) Muddada Ravichandra wrote to Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India and Dr Reddy’s, and placed orders for the vaccines.

“We have written to all the three suppliers—SII, Bharat Biotech and Dr Reddy’s—to supply an estimated 4.08 crore doses as we are not totally sure of the availability with each supplier,” Ravichandra said. The state is about to complete the vaccination of frontline workers and healthcare workers, and people above 45 years and suffering from comorbidities. Now the focus is on vaccinating the rest of the population.

During Tika Utsav, by administering over six lakh doses of vaccine, the state had proved its capability to successfully inoculate a large number of people. It could not continue, as it ran out stocks. Meanwhile, one lakh more doses of Covishield arrived at the State Vaccine Store in Gannavaram on Saturday, and the same will be dispatched to the districts.