Maharashtra government has diverted the COVID-19 vaccine for those above 45 years. This came after the state witnessed a huge shortage of COVID-19 vaccines. Maharashtra is the worst-hit COVID-19 state in India. It is seeing a huge surge in everyday cases. However, the cases have declined for a day or two. On Monday, less than 40,000 cases were reported in the state. This was the lowest in 41 days. Currently, there are 5,138,973 cases with 76,398 deaths in the state. Recoveries stand at 4,469,425.
Maharashtra Witnessing Shortage of Vaccine Supply
Many people in Maharashtra are not able to administer their second inoculation. The Centre opened vaccination for all above 18 years from May 1. However, due to vaccine shortage, many 45+ individuals have not received their second dose. Therefore, the government has diverted the vaccine from 18-44 to 45+. Health Minister Rajesh Tope announced the news on Tuesday.
The Central Government has a big role to play in this decision. If not given the second dose at the right time, the efficacy of the vaccine can be affected. Hence, it is important to divert the vaccines. More than 2.1 million people are waiting for their second dose. 1.6 million are Covishield jabbed. Only 35,000 Covaxin doses were shot in Maharashtra.
Third Phase of Vaccination on Hold
As per government guidelines, Maharashtra began its vaccination third phase from May 1. In April, many vaccination centers in the state were shut due to a vaccine shortage. These include centers in Mumbai, Pune, Panvel, and other districts. People are still waiting for their second dose. Hence, the 18-44 years vaccination is on hold for now. The government will first vaccinate 45+ individuals. More than 18.2 million people are vaccinated in Maharashtra so far. 14,776,548 have received their first dose. And 3,487,664 have administered both doses.
Central Government asks to Inoculate 45+ First
The Central Government has asked to first inoculate 45+ beneficiaries in Maharashtra. Besides that, it has asked to reserve 70 percent of the doses for this purpose. And the rest 30 percent for those who are waiting for their first dose. However, this is indictive. States have the liberty to do as they want.