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Karnataka will encourage those setting up vax production centres: govt
Bengaluru, May 12 - Karnataka chief secretary P. Ravi Kumar on Wednesday said that the state government was ready to help any pharma company that will come forward to produce the Sputnik V vaccine in the state.
As of now only two vaccines manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech are allowed in India for mass inoculation programme, but these companies are struggling to meet the country's overwhelming demand for vaccines amid the ferocious second wave that has seen India's Covid burden go up manifold.
After his meeting with officers in Vidhana Soudha here, Kumar told reporters that there are no vaccine manufacturers in Karnataka, if anyone comes forward, the state will provide the all required assistance to establish one. "Already our Central Drug authorities have cleared this viral vector vaccine for Covid-19 developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of Russia. We need more manufacturing centres to meet the demands of our population," he said.
Answering a question, the Chief Secretary said that the state will give first preference to those who have already got their first dose, which is the right thing to do, when a country is in need of anti-Covid vaccine.
He added there is no point in answering the same question about when we will be able to complete the vaccine drive.
"It is no easy task to inoculate the whole population. First we need that many vaccines available. The manufacturing companies are working overtime and even augmenting their production capacities too. Once everything happens, then only we can expect a smooth supply of anti-Covid vaccines regularly," he explained.
According to him, no government can assure about the time frame of completing anti-covid vaccine drive. "With present inflow of anti-Covid vaccine deliveries, the only right thing to do is to complete those who have already got their first dose of vaccine, so at least those are brought under the safety net of vaccines," he argued.
Responding to a question, he said that no government can give anyone the timeline to complete the drive. "Going by the pace at which Karnataka is getting its share of anti-covid vaccines, we might need a few years to inoculate the entire population. So, it is anybody's guess, how much time will it take to complete the drive," he said.
He added that that the union government had allocated 15 lakh doses to Karnataka for every fortnight but the state was receiving only around Eight lakh dose, hence it would be difficult to meet both demands of first dose and second dose, therefore, the state has decided to give first preference to administer those are due for the second dose.
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