Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday asked concerned officials to prepare for vaccinating priority groups in the 18-45 years category from government hospitals from Monday, as the state is expecting 1 lakh vaccine doses to come from the Serum Institute of India (SII) over the weekend.

The vaccination of priority groups identified by the state government for Phase III should start as soon as the doses arrive, the Chief Minister said. The state government has identified 18-45 age group construction workers, teachers, government employees and those with co-morbidities as high-risk individuals for priority vaccination.

The Chief Minister, who was chairing a virtual Covid review meeting, directed all government employees, except those with medical problems, to get vaccinated.

While the Labour Department will coordinate the vaccination of construction workers and their families, to be funded by BOCWWB, the DCs have been asked to coordinate the vaccination of government employees. Vaccinations for people with co-morbidities will also be planned by DCs, with only advance registration and slotting of vaccination site to be allowed.

The state government had ordered 30 lakh vaccine doses from SII for the Phase III vaccination, and the Government of India has now allocated 3.30 lakh doses against this order to Punjab for this month.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has directed the Chief Secretary to explore the utilisation of some component of the state’s World Bank loan for the purchase of 10,000 oxygen concentrators, along with tankers and O2 plants as well as vaccines.

The Chief Minister expressed gratitude to the various organisations that were sending aid to the state to support its fight against the deadly second wave of the pandemic. He informed the meeting that besides the Tata Group, which was sending 500 oxygen concentrators, an additional 200 concentrators were being sent by the Tata Memorial Hospital.