Maharashtra Covid-19 vaccine drive gets a 1 million Covishield fillip

In a letter to the Centre on Saturday, principal secretary of the state health department, Dr Pradeep Vyas, sought urgent supply of Covaxin as more than 500,000 people, in the above 45 age group, are due for their second dose.
Health minister Rajesh Tope said that the state’s priority is to vaccinate 57.1 million population in the 18-44 category, but wants the central government to clear the hurdles of permissions to procure foreign vaccines.(HT Photo )
Health minister Rajesh Tope said that the state’s priority is to vaccinate 57.1 million population in the 18-44 category, but wants the central government to clear the hurdles of permissions to procure foreign vaccines.(HT Photo )
Published on May 10, 2021 05:41 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, Mumbai

Amid an acute shortage of vaccines during the third phase of inoculation drive, Maharashtra on Sunday received a total 1,053,000 doses of Covishield vaccines, of which 350,000 were purchased from the Serum Institute of India for vaccination of 18-44 category.

“On Sunday we received 703,000 doses of Covishield and only 36,000 doses of Covaxin for the vaccination of people over age 45. Besides that, we received 350,000 Covishield vaccines which the state government has purchased for vaccination of people in the 18-44 category. All the doses have been shipped out to various districts and the drive will continue,” state immunisation officer DN Patil said on Sunday.

In a letter to the Centre on Saturday, principal secretary of the state health department, Dr Pradeep Vyas, sought urgent supply of Covaxin as more than 500,000 people, in the above 45 age group, are due for their second dose.

Also read | Amid supply crunch, Maharashtra, Rajasthan look to import Covid-19 vaccines

Earlier this week, the Centre supplied 1,150,000 doses of Covid vaccines. However, after inoculating 234,578 people on Saturday, 363,753 on Friday and 454,546 on Thursday, the state has almost exhausted its stock.

On Sunday, the decline in the state’s vaccination numbers continued as the state inoculated 109,276 beneficiaries. So far, the state has fully vaccinated 3,350,633 beneficiaries, while 14,710,907 have taken their first shot of the vaccine.

Addressing the press on Sunday, state health minister Rajesh Tope said the vaccination drive in the state was going at a “slow pace” due to the unavailability of the adequate number of doses.

“Currently our vaccination drive is going on at a slow pace because vaccines are not being made available. Chief minister has clearly said that Maharashtra has the potential to purchase 120 million doses in one go, but availability is the main issue. The Centre must intervene in this matter...”

He added that the state’s priority is to vaccinate 57.1 million population in the 18-44 category, but wants the central government to clear the hurdles of permissions to procure foreign vaccines.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Swapnil Rawal is Principal Correspondent with the Hindustan Times. He covers urban development and infrastructure. He had long stints with leading national dailies and has experience of over a decade in journalism.

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