The central government will provide 1.70 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses in September. This means an additional 50 lakh doses will be given to the state, announced Health Minister Rajesh Tope. At present, nearly 25 lakh people are on the waitlist for the second dose. They will be administered the vaccine on priority once the consignment arrives, he added.
“The central government assured that it would provide 1.70 crore doses next month to Maharashtra. If this happens, the state will be able to administer over 15 lakh doses on a daily basis. We will be able to vaccinate the entire population with the first dose. The priority will then be to provide the second dose soon considering the gap required between the two doses for Covishield and Covaxin,” Tope said.
Earlier, the vaccination drive targeted beneficiaries who are above 60 years or with a compromised immune system. Now, the focus has shifted to beneficiaries who are 18 years and above and venture out most of the time.
Meanwhile, the state government has directed the collectors, health officers and commissioners of all districts to vaccinate the teaching and non-teaching staff before September 5.
Tope said the third wave is likely to hit the state by the first week of November. It is likely to affect over 60 lakh people. “Over 20 lakh people contracted the virus in the first wave. 40 lakh people were infected in the second wave. Considering all the aspects, we have also increased the oxygen capacity to 2,000 MT,” added Tope.