9 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses received, to be used for 45+ age group: Rajesh Tope

Tope also said the state government will wait for Adar Poonawalla, chief of Serum Institute of India, to return from London, and then discuss how more Covishield doses could be procured for the state, Tope said.

State Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said the Maharashtra government has received 9 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses, which will be utilised for the 45 years and above age group.

He admitted that for the 45 years and above age group, there were barely 25,000-30,000 vaccine doses left across the state. “We had to shut various sessions for vaccination. However, now we have got 9 lakh doses and these will be utilised for this age group. The doses will be accordingly distributed to each district,” he said.

Tope also said the state government will wait for Adar Poonawalla, chief of Serum Institute of India, to return from London, and then discuss how more Covishield doses could be procured for the state, Tope said.

“We will try to ensure that the state can procure maximum number of doses once he returns,” Tope said at a press conference.

“The state has made purchase orders of 18.50 lakh vaccine doses (13.81 lakh Covishield and 4.79 lakh Covaxin doses) towards vaccination of the 18-44 age group. The state is also involved in the procurement of Sputnik V vaccine, once the rates are finalised. Dr Reddy’s is the co-partner and we are engaged in discussions with them,” he said.

So far, 1.65 crore beneficiaries in the 45 and above age group have been administered the vaccine while in the last four days, a total of 1 lakh beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group have been given the vaccine shot.

“Vaccination is crucial in the fight against Covid-19 and so far, in this category, we have received 3 lakh doses, which have been distributed across large and small districts. We have appealed to youngsters in thise age group to take appointments after registering on the app and then get the jab as per the slots available. Overcrowding should be avoided,” said Tope.

Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, assistant director of health, Pune circle, said they were expecting 70,000 doses for the 45 years and above age group, and another 30,000 for the 18-44 age group by late Tuesday evening.

15 districts seeing decline in cases: Tope

Tope said 15 districts in the state were showing a decline in new Covid-19 cases since lockdown-like restrictions were imposed a fortnight ago. These districts include Mumbai, Thane, Nashik, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Raigad, Osmanabad, Chandrapur, Gondia, Nanded, Dhule, Bhandara, Latur, Nandurbar and Amravati.

Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, said there has been 8.18 percent decline in new infections since the restrictions were imposed. Mumbai has shown a more than 55 per cent decline in growth in daily new cases in the last 15 days, while Nanded and Dhule have shown more than 59 and 56 per cent decline. The number of Covid-19 cases in some districts, however, remained a cause of concern. These districts included Kolhapur, Satara, Solapur, Sangli,Buldhana, Yavatmal, Wardha and Gadchiroli, among others, which have shown increase in cases, said Dr Awate.

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