Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday answered several questions related to COVID-19 vaccination in the state.
Panic gripped in the state among the youth as the government had decided to put hold on vaccination for the 18-44 age group and divert the doses for beneficiaries above 45 years of age. For the uninitiated, amid the shortage of COVID-19 vaccine in the state, the Maharashtra government had said that the state will now vaccinate only people above 45 years of age.
Tope had on Tuesday said that a discussion is going on with CM Uddhav Thackeray to procure more vaccines. Speaking to NDTV, he said that the govt is slowing the process of vaccination for the 18-44 age group as there is a shortage of vaccines. "We don't want to stop, but right now we have no vaccines, so we will be giving vaccines right now to 45+ only," Tope said.
Now, the Minister has said that Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla has promised CM Uddhav Thackeray to deliver 1.5 crore doses of Covishield to Maharashtra after May 20. "We will start the vaccination for 18-44 age group after we receive the vaccine," said Tope.
Maharashtra government on Tuesday had decided to divert three lakh vials of Covaxin meant for the 18-44 age group for the use of the people aged 45 years and above.
Speaking to reporters, state Tope also said more than five lakh people above 45 years are awaiting the second dose for the want of the vaccine.