Updated: June 3, 2021 11:04:48 am
For an approximate population of 5.5 crore in the 18-44 age group in Maharashtra, the state government managed to purchase only about 25 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses in May. Vaccination for this age group had started on May 1 at government centres but was suspended due to limited supplies and the focus on administering the second dose of the vaccine to beneficiaries in the 45 and above age group.
Since a fortnight, private hospitals have been allowed to purchase vaccine doses, post clearance from the Centre, from vaccine manufacturers. Till June 1, a total of 11.74 lakh beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group have got the first dose.
State Additional Chief Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas told The Indian Express that vaccines for this age group were purchased after the allocation was done by the Centre. “The Centre indicates how much each state can buy from the vaccine manufacturers. This quota is decided by the Centre and is also based on production of vaccines,” said Dr Vyas. He said some supplies for this age group were expected next week.
According to state Health department data for this age group (18-44), Maharashtra was able to procure a total of 25,10,730 vaccine doses across six different dates last month. A total of 20,31,580 Covishield doses were purchased while 4,79,150 Covaxin doses were procured between April 30 and May 22 this year.
The initial tranche of 3 lakh Covishield doses was procured on April 30. The next batch of 3.5 lakh Covishield doses was procured on May 9, after which the state got another batch of 6.6 lakh doses on May 11. Another 2 lakh doses were purchased on May 18 while 3.19 lakh doses were procured on May 22 and later another 2 lakh doses were purchased. The government, however, was able to purchase only 4.79 lakh doses of Covaxin early on May 4.
The Covid vaccination programme started in the country on January 16, covering healthcare workers in the first phase, and it was later expanded to frontline workers in early February. People above 60 were administered the vaccine in the second phase that commenced on March 1, and those above 45 were included in the drive from April 1. The Centre’s allocation of doses to Maharashtra from mid-January till June was 2.03 crore, and the doses were mainly for healthcare workers, frontline workers and those who are 45 and above.
According to state Health department data till date, a total of 2.28 crore vaccine doses have been administered since the vaccination drive began in Maharashtra. Of this, 1.82 crore beneficiaries have got the first dose while 46 lakh have got both jabs. A large chunk of beneficiaries in the 45 and above age group have yet to be administered the second dose. According to data, 1.4 crore beneficiaries who are 45 and above have been administered the first vaccine dose while 31.09 lakh have got both shots.
State officials said their capacity to administer jabs can be extended to more than 7-8 lakh doses daily.
Meanwhile, on June 2, the state got a supply of 9.09 lakh Covishield vaccine doses while a total of 1,24 lakh Covaxin doses were procured on May 31 for healthcare workers, frontline workers and those who are 45 and above. In these categories, the state has received a total of 1.88 crore Covishield vaccine doses till date.
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