Even though there was incessant international pressure and several negotiations by the Serum Institute of India, the Indian government has rejected the request from the Serum Institute to export 50 lakh Covishield vaccine shots to the UK under its previous agreement. This decision was made after a severe shortage of vaccines in the country. The government insisted that the local production be supplied in India first to protect Indian citizens.

The State governments are asked to reach out to the pharmaceutical company to negotiate contracts and obtain these shots to meet the state’s demand. The doses are likely to be used to vaccinate people between the age group of 18- 44 years.

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“These 50 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine are now available for inoculating people between 18-44 years age. States have been asked to procure it. Private hospitals can also get them, ” told an official source. The centre has asked the state governments to reach out to the Pune- based company and initiate procurement activity at the earliest. However, as per the sources the labels of these d0ses might have to be altered. This is because previously the doses were packed to be supplied to UK, thereby a different label was affixed on it. But now, since they have to be supplied within India, they need a label accordingly.