State government does not even have enough stock to vaccinate people aged 45 and above: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister
On Saturday, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said that for a vaccination programme that was scheduled on Saturday, only 3 lakh doses were received and the state government does not even have the stock to vaccinate people aged 45 and above.
Pawar said, “We had planned a big event for today but we received only 3 lakh doses for today. Out of that 20,000 have been given to the Pune district. Today, we don’t have vaccine stock to vaccinate people aged 45 and above hence vaccination centers in Pune district were closed.”
The third phase of vaccination drive for 18-44 age group started from Saturday.
Pawar further said, “We had taken a decision in a cabinet meeting that people aged 18 to 44 years will start getting vaccinated from May 1. 5.71 crore people are there in this age category in Maharashtra and we have to vaccinate around 12 crore people. 6.5 crore vaccine doses were supposed to be purchased and we had approved that purchase. The state finance department is ready to clear the payment in one go.”
He said that Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla said that it was difficult for them to provide vaccinations in such large amount.
Pawar said, “Adar Poonawala told the CM that it is difficult to give the vaccines in large stock. We have done booking with Bharat Biotech as well. We are trying to conduct the vaccination as early as possible. We are also trying to get the central government’s permission for importing vaccines from other countries. The first lot of vaccines from Russia will be received today but its price is not yet clear”.
He also talked about the incidents that are taking place in the hospitals in the state. He said, “Fire audit of the hospitals was ordered. Most of the government hospital’s audit had been completed as well, some are remaining and they too shall be covered soon. For private hospitals also an inspection has been ordered which will start very soon.”
The restrictions were extended till May 15. On Friday, Maharashtra recorded 66,159 new Covid-19 cases and the state currently has 6,64,683 active cases.