Maharashtra may start vaccination drive for 18-44 age group in a symbolic way – News 24-7 Live News 24-7 Live
Maharashtra may start vaccination drive for 18-44 age group in a symbolic way

Maharashtra may start vaccination drive for 18-44 age group in a symbolic way

Maharashtra may kick off the vaccination drive for the 18-44 age group in a symbolic way tomorrow. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray is likely to make the announcement today evening in his live address to the state on various social media platforms. State health minister Rajesh Tope said that Thackeray is keen on launching the drive on May 1 as the day is celebrated as Maharashtra state’s foundation day as well.

“The chief minister intends to start the vaccination drive for the 18-44 age group in a limited way. It is because we celebrate May 1 as Maharashtra Day and the Centre also wants it to be started on the same day. The CM will share more details about his plans during his live address this evening,” Tope told reporters on Friday.

Expanding the nationwide drive, the Centre threw open vaccination for all adults from May 1, asking the states to inoculate the 18-44 age group by procuring doses from the open market.

Tope said that the state may start the drive with one centre in a district as they have very limited stock of vaccine doses. “Serum Institute of India has informed us that they can provide 1,400,000 -1,500,000 vials in May whereas Bharat Biotech said they can provide between 400,000 and 450,000 doses in the next month. Together, we are expecting to get around 1.8 million doses in May. Based on this, the state can start the drive at limited centres which may be limited to one in each district,” the health minister said.

He said the state government wants to maintain consistency in holding the drive which depends upon the availability of the vaccine stock.

On being asked if the state will then also the vaccination drive at private centres for 45 years and above age group, he said, “We will have to follow whatever directives the Centre issues. Today, we are running the vaccination drive for 45 years and above at 4,200 centres across the state but if the Centre wants no drive for that age group at private centres then that directive will have to be followed.”

Elaborating, he said, “Those who are eligible for the second dose will be given the second jab. It can be done either at private centres or at the government-run centres by taking the record. There are two firms manufacturing vaccine doses. The Government of India has mandated that half of their production will go to the Centre and the rest will be divided among the state governments, private hospitals and industrial private hospitals. Now the question arises on what will happen if these (private) hospitals demand vaccine stock in big numbers. The Government of India may have to regulate this aspect as well. The Centre yet has to clarify these aspects.”

News Source: Hindustan Times

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