Lucknow: Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has placed an order of 1 crore vaccines -- 50 lakhs each -- from the makers of Covashield and Covaxin in addition to vaccines to be supplied by the Centre for the success of the third phase of vaccination drive, beginning May 1.
The state government has also set-up a committee under the state Finance Minister and Medical Education Minister Suresh Khanna to make a concrete plan for the success of the crucial third phase of vaccination drive. The government has already announced vaccination free for people above 18 years of age.
The Chief Minister has directed the state health department to ensure minimum wastage of life-saving vaccines. Uttar Pradesh had recorded the highest 5 to 6 percent wastage of vaccines in the country during the first and second vaccination drive.
To avoid heavy rush, prior registration on Cowin portal has been made mandatory for people in the 18-45 years of age group. No registration will be allowed at the vaccination centres. However, the registration facility at the centre will continue to be available for the above 45 years category.
State health department officials claimed that the third phase of vaccination drive will be the most crucial in breaking the chain of second wave of coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh. Currently, the vaccination drive is running at snail’s pace in the state and yet to touch the 10 million mark.
“It is a mammoth task considering the huge population of the state. We will be requiring a large contingent of trained vaccination staff to man centres, robust cold chains to maintain supplies, over 100 million vaccines, syringes etc to make the drive successful,” said a senior health department official.
Since the third vaccination drive above 18 years has been made free of cost, a heavy rush at vaccination centres is expected from May 1. People have now realized that vaccines are the only way to get a shield from the deadly second strain of virus.
Since the Yogi Adityanath government has ruled out complete lockdown, inoculation is the only way to break the chain and save people’s lives. To achieve Herd Immunity, at least 30 per cent of the total population of 24 crore needs to be vaccinated at the earliest.
“But to ward off the third wave of coronavirus, which will be much more dangerous than the current one, we need to achieve at least 70 percent of vaccination in next six months, a task near impossible,” pointed out the official.