Home / News / India /  Maharashtra clears 6,500-crore plan to inoculate for free

MUMBAI : The Maharashtra state cabinet on Wednesday approved 6,500 crore to inoculate 57.1 million citizens aged 18 to 44 years within six months, said health minister Rajesh Tope.

However, he said the vaccination drive will not start from 1 May due to unavailability of vaccines. The state will require 120 million doses, and has set up the necessary infrastructure to immunize 20 million people per month.

“Due to non-availability of vaccines at present, vaccination between the ages of 18 and 44 will not start from 1 May. The vaccine can only be obtained by registering on the CoWin app, confirming the date and time," a communication from Tope’s office said. Walk-in arrangements will not be entertained and vaccination centres should not be crowded to ensure the centres do not spread the infection.

Only citizens above 45 years of age will be vaccinated at the centres where vaccination is currently underway. There will be separate vaccination centres for 18 to 44-year-olds.

There are 13,000 health departments in the state and even if 100 doses are given every day, 1.3 million people can be vaccinated in one day, he added. Currently, the state’s jab wastage rate is 1%, and is far below the national average of over 6%.Health workers, who use the right number of vaccines, must be credited for this, he said.

Maharashtra is facing shortage of Covaxin at present but Bharat Biotech has agreed to accelerate its supply to the state soon. The company has also assured to supply 2 million doses per month in July and August. Serum Institute of India has also promised to supply up to 10 million doses per month to the state. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is also holding discussions with the manufacturers of Russian vaccine Sputnik V, Tope said.

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