In a major policy decision, the Maharashtra government on Sunday has asked the municipal corporations from Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to meet their vaccine requirement through import or other sources in a bid to vaccinate eligible citizens from their respective jurisdictions. This was announced by Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde days after BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation has floated global tender to procure 1 crore vaccines through import while Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation has proposed to go in for import to source 4 lakh doses.
Shinde’s announcement came days after the state government temporarily suspended the vaccination for the age group of 18-44 years for want of vaccine doses. The government is currently implementing the vaccination campaign for the citizens above 45 years plus whose second dose is due.
Shinde has asked the municipal corporations of Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi, Mira-Bhayander, Vasai-Virar and Panvel from MMR to focus on vaccination and make their own arrangements to procure the doses. He admitted that even though the state government is pursuing with the Centre for an increase in the supply of vaccine doses, the civic bodies are facing a serious problem especially due to the growing mismatch between the demand and supply. ‘’Therefore, the municipal corporations from MMR have been asked to procure on their own to vaccinate eligible citizens from their respective areas,’’ he noted.
Shinde said the pace of vaccination needs to be increased to tackle the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic. At present, the state government is getting Covishield and Covaxin from the Centre and it has decided to prioritise available stocks to administer the second dose to 45+ population.