Mumbai: Maharashtra government has ordered 18.60 lakh doses of Covid vaccines, which should help boost the vaccination drive, said State Health Minister Rajesh Tope. Tope said the focus was to accelerate the drive by inoculating more people in the 18-44 years age group.
According to data shared by the state health department, 1.65 crore of the total three crore population above 45 years of age had been vaccinated since the mass immunisation programme began, which means almost 45 per cent of the vulnerable population in those age brackets have been covered. Also, one lakh registered beneficiaries in the 18-44 category have been vaccinated since May 1.
“Our main aim is to vaccinate more people in the age group of 18-44 years and we are working towards that by purchasing more vaccines to speed up the drive. We have placed orders for 18.60 lakh vaccines -- 13.81 lakh doses of Covishield and 4.79 lakh doses of Covaxin. Moreover, only registered beneficiaries who have booked a slot are allowed to visit the vaccine centres,” said Tope.
Until May 3, the state had only 25,000 doses of Covid vaccines left, through which only registered beneficiaries above 45 years of age could have been vaccinated. However, on Tuesday morning an additional nine lakh doses of Covishield had been received, which would be distributed in every district based on their population. These stocks will last for up to two days, so the state health department has directed the districts to use the vaccine accordingly, so that the vaccination drive is unhampered.
“We received nine lakh doses of Covishield which have been distributed to the districts based on their population -- like larger districts will get 20,000 doses, others will get 7,000 doses and the smaller districts will get 5,000 doses. We have directed all the districts to vaccinate as many beneficiaries as they can in the 18-44 years group,” Tope said.
Meanwhile, Tope also urged Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla to give priority to the state in supplying vaccines as the government was ready to purchase doses from the Pune-based company. He said the Maharashtra government was also ready to purchase Sputnik V, the Russian Covid vaccine.