The Punjab government decided to join the global COVAX alliance for sourcing the immunisation shots at the best price. By doing so, Punjab will become the first state in the country to take the initiative of addressing the vaccine shortage amid the deadly second wave of the pandemic. Abbreviated as COVAX, the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access is a worldwide initiative aimed at providing equitable access to anti-Covid vaccines.

What

  1. COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi and the World Health Organization (WHO), alongside key delivery partner UNICEF.
  2. It aims at accelerating the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
  3. The decision to join COVAX alliance was taken during a virtual Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
  4. Reviewing the vaccination status and the availability of the anti-Covid vaccine in the state, the Cabinet said it is necessary to source the vaccine globally.
  5. Since the COVAX facility offers the best prices, the state should make an attempt to join the same for procuring vaccines from the international markets.
  6. The state government has so far ordered only Covishield vaccine for the 18-44 age group but with this decision, decks have been cleared to place orders for Covaxin too.