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Covid-19: Only six states will begin vaccination for those 18 and older as of today | India News

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NEW DELHI: Only six states will be able to begin vaccinating the 18-44 age group when the national campaign to vaccinate the very young begins on Saturday. All other states and territories in the Union have postponed vaccination for this age group for a few days or are not sure to start the exercise as they face vaccine shortages.
Even in these six states (Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Odisha), the May 1 campaign will be a “show”. In most of these states, it will be limited to a few districts.
In Maharashtra, which is the worst affected Covid-19 state in the country, three lakh doses of Covishield were distributed on Friday evening for the May 1 exercise after Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced that all people in the age group 18 to 44 will be vaccinated and the state would bear the cost of coverage. Pune, Mumbai and Thane each received the bulk of 20,000 doses, while other districts received between 3,000 and 10,000 doses each.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope told TOI that “we have planned to start vaccinating this age group in a small way at first, as we still have low doses.” He said that while the state needs around 12 crore doses for a population of 5.7 crore in the 18-44 age group, both the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have given the state in writing that they could provide 13 lakhs. and 3.45 lakh doses. respectively to Maharashtra only in May.
In Uttar Pradesh, another worst affected state, the campaign will begin on May 1 in just seven of the 75 total districts. Health department officials said the campaign will take place only in Lucknow, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Meerut and Bareilly initially.
Rajasthan will start the campaign in just three of the 33 districts (Ajmer, Jaipur and Jodhpur) and expected three lakhs of vaccine doses by Friday at midnight.
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani announced that vaccination for the age group will begin in 10 of the 33 districts that have the highest burden of Covid-19 positive cases. He said the state was expecting 3 lakh of vaccine doses Friday night.
The Odisha government announced the start of vaccination from Saturday after it received a shipment of 1.5 lakh doses of Covaxin on Friday night.
Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singhdeo said the government will launch the campaign from May 1, but will give priority to Antyodaya cardholders and Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG). “The state will receive a 1.5 lakh dose of Covaxin on Saturday afternoon. We have decided not to delay the vaccination schedule and will begin the inoculation on (May 1) in the afternoon. Vaccination will continue to progress as vaccine stocks arrive, ”Singhdeo said.
However, all other states have postponed the momentum due to uncertainty about the stocks. Assam’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma confirmed on Twitter that the Center had committed to providing five lakh doses of vaccines for the 18-44 age group. However, considering the uncertainty about the arrival date of the first shipment of vaccines, it is unlikely that the campaign will begin on May 1 as previously scheduled, senior health officials told TOI.
Telangana has stopped the vaccination campaign for two days (May 1 and 2) in government centers even for people 45 years and older due to the shortage of vaccines.
Tamil Nadu is unlikely to implement 18+ vaccination at its government facilities, but some private hospitals like Apollo have said they will.
Bengal will begin vaccination from May 5, while inoculation for the 45-year-old group will continue in government centers. However, it will stop at private centers, as they must return unused vaccine stocks to the state government by the end of Friday.
The Karnataka government indefinitely postponed the vaccination campaign for the 18-44 group, which was supposed to start on Saturday, citing vaccine shortages.

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