Maharashtra to resume Covid-19 vaccine drive for 18-44 age group soon: Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday spoke about the issue of shortage of Covid-19 vaccine doses in the state, as he announced an extension of lockdown-like norms by 15 days, starting June 1.
“We have to vaccinate all our eligible people but the availability of jabs is a challenge for us,” Thackeray said in an address to the state on Sunday night, in which he also addressed a range of other Covid-19-related issues, such as examinations for class 10th and 12th students.
The inoculation drive for the 18-44 age group, which was suspended earlier this month, would be resumed soon, the chief minister said further. The Maharashtra government put on hold vaccination for everyone below the age of 45, citing a shortage of vaccine doses. Jabs of both Covid-19 vaccines currently in use in the country -- Covishield and Covaxin -- were diverted to be used as second doses for beneficiaries above the age of 45.
Maharashtra has frequently complained about shortage of vaccine doses to the central government, which, in turn, has rejected the charge and claimed that the highest number of doses have been made available to the western state. At 5,731,815, Maharashtra’s infection tally is the highest among all states and Union territories, though the number of daily cases has witnessed a decline in recent days. It is also among six states with more than 100,000 active cases
According to the state health department’s latest bulletin, there was an addition of 18,600 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, while 462 related deaths were recorded as well. This was the lowest single-day rise in cases since March 16, when 17,864 people tested positive. The death toll due to the infection, meanwhile, reached 94,844, Sunday’s bulletin showed.
Across India, 212,066,614 vaccine doses have been administered since the beginning of the nationwide vaccine drive on January 16, the Union ministry of health and family welfare’s (MoHFW) dashboard showed at 8am on Sunday. Of these, 3,035,749 doses were administered in the last 24 hours.