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NEW DELHI : National carrier Air India Limited has cancelled vaccination camps at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on 11 May and 13 May due to unavailability of coronavirus vaccines, the airline said in an internal note to its employees.

"The proposed covid vaccination camp at GSD complex in IGIA on 11.05.2021 & 13.05.2021 stands cancelled because Govt. Authorities have expressed an inability to hold these camps due to non-availability of vaccines," it said.

"Fresh dates will be notified once we get a reconfirmation from Govt. Authorities," it added.

A copy of the internal memo has been reviewed by Mint.

The airline's plan to vaccinate all its employees by May-end is also likely to be deferred due to vaccine shortage, a senior official with the airline said, requesting anonymity.

"However, all efforts are being made to expedite the vaccination process," the person added.

Air India had last week said in a statement that it will vaccinate all its employees by the end of May after a section of pilots of the airline informed the company's management that they will stop working if the company failed to set up vaccination camps across the country for its flying crew.

The airline had added that in the last few days it has lost a few valued employees in the second wave of covid-19.

India is facing a huge shortage of covid-19 vaccines, which has resulted in a slow down in vaccination drive. This has resulted in various states such as Telangana to float global tenders for procuring covid-19 vaccines.

"Airline staff are front line workers and should be vaccinated immediately. The government should procure vaccines from the international market if supply in the domestic market is not adequate and vaccinate all front line workers," said a senior pilot with the national carrier.

"A lot of Air India staff have contacted the virus and many have even lost their lives. Airline staff need to be vaccinated if they are to perform their duties," the person added.

When contacted, an Air India spokesperson didn't offer comments.

India has seen an unabated rise in fresh covid cases in the past few days. As many as 329,942 more people tested positive for covid-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the cumulative caseload to 22,992,517 according to data from the Union health ministry.

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