Updated: August 21, 2021 11:56:18 am
While acknowledging the utility of Covid-19 vaccine booster dose, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said the Pune district administration will only make those available after all eligible population in the district are fully vaccinated.
Pawar, who chaired the weekly Covid-19 review meeting at Pune’s Council Hall, said the district administration has also decided to prioritise vaccination of those who have received the first dose and are eligible for the second one instead of expanding the vaccination programme to include those who haven’t got a single dose yet.
As of August 18, total 70 lakh vaccine doses were administered in Pune district, of which 51.4 were administered as first doses and 18.65 as second doses. Jurisdictionally, 31.33 lakh doses have been administered in the Pune city jurisdiction, 12.98 lakh in the Pimpri-Chinchwad jurisdiction and 25.74 lakh doses in the Pune rural jurisdiction.
“After consulting medical experts, the administration has decided to prioritise delivering second doses to those who have received the first jab, instead of providing the doses to the unvaccinated population. As per experts, it’s important that those who have received the first jab get the second dose within the prescribed time limit unless the vaccine’s effectiveness may suffer. The remaining population will be vaccinated after this population has received both the doses,” Pawar told reporters after the Covid-19 review meeting.
Pawar said in Pune district, there are 898 government-run vaccination centres and 440 private centres. On Friday, 1.93 doses were available to be delivered in the district.
When asked about the government’s plan on the vaccine’s “booster doses”, Pawar said while the doses proved to be very useful to safeguard the population, the Maharashtra government is focused on fully vaccinating the entire population first and then expanding the programme on booster doses.
“Only after eligible population in all districts receives both the doses, we can think of administering the booster doses. However, those who want can buy the booster doses privately,” said Pawar.
He added that the administration was in talks with both Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech to get additional doses for the district.
“Saurabh Rao has spoken to Adar Poonawalla in this regard and if Serum can spare some additional vaccines for Pune, considering that it’s the home city for the company and its founders, we will use those to vaccinate the slum-dwellers,” Pawar said, adding that a similar request will be made to Bharat Biotech after its Pune plant becomes operational.
The weekly positivity rate of Covid-19 has come down to 3.3 per cent for Pune district. In Pune city, it is 2.5 per cent, 3.1 in PCMC and 3.9 per cent in Pune rural.