Amid the shortage of COVID-19 vaccine in the state, the Maharashtra government will now vaccinate only people above 45 years of age, informed state Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday.
This means that there will be no vaccination for the 18-44 age group till further notice. Tope 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.
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.
"Efficacy of the vaccine is largely affected if the second dose is not administered in a stipulated time. To avoid such health crisis, the state government has decided to divert three lakh vials (of Covaxin) purchased for the 18-44 age category for the people above 45 years," Tope said.
He said only 35,000 vials of Covaxin are currently available with the state government for administering the second dose to people above 45 years.
In the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive, Maharashtra on May 11 crossed the 1.82 crore mark.
As per the data released by the health ministry, Maharashtra, as of 7 am on May 11, inoculated 1,82,64,212 people.
According to data released by the government, the state has administered the second dose of vaccine to 34,87,664 people and the first dose to 1,47,76,548 people.
Maharashtra tops the states with a total of 1,82,64,212 inoculations followed by Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh with 1,42,88,032, 1,41,60,135 and 1,37,60,662 doses respectively.