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Maharashtra Govt To Halt Vaccination For 18-44 Age Group; Stocks Diverted To 45+ Second Dose


Mumbai: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said the state government is considering holding off the vaccination drive temporarily for those in the 18 to 44 age group as there is a dearth of Covid-19 vaccine doses.

“There is a dearth of vaccines. Hence, we are considering holding off the vaccination drive temporarily for 18 to 44 age group. 2.75 lakh vaccine doses are left for this group. That will be used for 45 years and above group now. Administering the second dose is priority,” he told the media here.

Tope said the Covaxin stock will now be diverted to those above 45 years of age due for a second dose of the vaccine.

“Around 35,000 doses of Covaxin are available for the people above 45 years but over five lakh people need the second dose of Covaxin. For this, we are diverting Covaxin stock to those above 45 years of age… Three lakh doses of Covaxin, which was for the 18 to 44 age group, will now be diverted to 45 and above. We are suspending vaccination for the 18+ age group who want Covaxin,” he added.

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The Maharashtra Health Minister further said “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,” he added.

Tope also said the state government has requested for a separate vaccination app for Maharashtra while pointing out “there are technical difficulties and the people from cities are taking vaccines in rural areas”.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray said “the road map for administering the second shot for every age group will be published soon”.

“While we explore possibilities of globally procuring vaccines and also increasing vaccination centres to have 1 in every municipal ward, the road map for administering the second shot for every age group will be published soon,” he tweeted.

Aaditya had earlier on Monday asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to explore the possibility of global procurement of Covid-19 vaccines to ensure efficient inoculation.

“Looking at the need for adequate vaccines to ensure that vaccination is swift & efficient, after discussing the issue with CM Uddhav Thackeray ji, as guardian minister of Mumbai, we have asked @mybmc to explore possibilities of global procurement of vaccines,” he wrote on the micro-blogging platform.

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