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At 14.29 crore doses, state ranks second in country in vaccination coverage

On January 16, 2021, the state had started vaccination drive for healthcare workers in around 300 centres. Gradually, in the last 12 months, the service has been extended to people above 15 years. The number of vaccination centres has increased to nearly 8,000.

At 1.87 crore doses, Mumbai – the biggest city in the state – has seen the highest number of vaccinations, followed by Pune (1.6 crore), Thane (1.17 crore) Nashik (71 lakh) and Nagpur (62 lakh). (File)

A year since the vaccination drive against Covid-19 was launched in India, Maharashtra has administered 14.29 crore doses till January 15, contributing to 9.13 per cent of the nation’s total tally. It ranks after Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest vaccination coverage so far.

As of January 15, 8.46 crore people have been vaccinated with first doses and 5.79 crore with second doses in the state. Also, 3.2 lakh of them have taken booster shots. Over 90 per cent of the eligible population has been inoculated with one dose and 63 per cent have been fully vaccinated in Maharashtra.

On January 16, 2021, the state had started vaccination drive for healthcare workers in around 300 centres. Gradually, in the last 12 months, the service has been extended to people above 15 years. The number of vaccination centres has increased to nearly 8,000.

“When we started the vaccination drive, people refused to take the jab. They thought it would kill them or lead to severe health issues. To encourage healthcare workers, we asked senior medical officers like deans, superintendents and heads of departments to get inoculated first. This helped in gaining the trust of others,” said Dr Sachin Desai, the state immunization officer.

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“Vaccinating adults is a completely different ball game. You can force children to get vaccinated, but not adults. It was a learning experience for us,” he added.

At 1.87 crore doses, Mumbai – the biggest city in the state – has seen the highest number of vaccinations, followed by Pune (1.6 crore), Thane (1.17 crore) Nashik (71 lakh) and Nagpur (62 lakh).
The beneficiaries, especially healthcare workers, believe that vaccination saved them from Covid-19 infection in the second wave when the state was swamped with cases of Delta variants.

Dr Gautam Bhansali, in charge of Covid-19 beds in private hospitals – one of the first to get the first jab in Maharashtra – said, “We were overwhelmed when the second wave started. But the infection rate among healthcare workers was comparatively lesser than the first wave. The vacancies strengthened our immunity and saved us.”

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According to experts, while vaccination may not completely stop Covid-19 infections, but it does help in containing the severity among patients.

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First published on: 15-01-2022 at 11:33:07 pm
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