“We might have to dip into the Covaxin stock provided to inoculate registered beneficiaries in the 18-44 years group if the Central Government does not provide enough of it to vaccinate all the 45-plus beneficiaries due for their second dose,” Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Friday.Tope said there were more than four lakh beneficiaries above 45 years of age across the state who are on the waiting list for the second dose, following which the state government had requested the Centre for larger quantities of Covaxin.
According to the data shared by the state health department, the state had received 7,79,000 Covid vaccine doses, of which 4,79,000 doses are of Covaxin, to vaccinate the 18-44 years group. All districts have been directed to use this stock carefully, to avoid shortage in the coming days until fresh supplies are received. 9,00,000 vaccines for those above 45 years and due for their second dose have been received, of which 8,00,000 doses have been utilised across the state. This leaves 1,00,000 doses, which are also likely to be used up in the next three to four days.
“Currently we are utilising vaccines on a limited basis so that we can inoculate as many numbers of beneficiaries as possible until the next round of stocks arrives. “However, the problem for now, is to provide a second dose of Covaxin to beneficiaries above 45 years. We request the Central Government to provide Covaxin, so that it can be administered to the 4-5 lakh beneficiaries due for their second dose,” Tope said.
He further said they would have to wait for some days for Covaxin doses and if these were not forthcoming, then there would be no option but to dip into the Covaxin doses provided for 18-44 years group. “For now, all adults are slated to get their Covid vaccines as soon as possible. But beneficiaries above 45 years who received their first dose more than four weeks ago are due for their second dose or else the efficacy of the vaccine will diminish, as per doctors,” Tope added.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra’s current daily oxygen requirement ranges from 1,750MTs to 1,850 MTs daily, and the state government has demanded that the Central Government fulfil the requirement with immediate effect. “We had asked the Centre to increase oxygen allocation by 200MTs. We have also received responses from a few countries for the global tender that had been floated. After careful scrutiny, orders will be placed,” Tope said.
Maharashtra has also issued tenders for 25,000MTs oxygen, 40,000 concentrators, 132 pressure swing adsorption plants and 27 tankers.