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After K’taka, Delhi defers vaccination drive for 18+ years citing insufficient stock

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Just a day ahead, when India gears up to inoculate all its people under 18-45 years bracket against Covid-19 in Phase 3 vaccine drive, several states like Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi delayed the vaccination campaign citing insufficient stock. Reportedly, the country has recorded overwhelming registrations response on its CoWIN portal with over 2.45 crore registrations in just two days.

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Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain yesterday said the national capital has not enough vaccine supply for the vaccination drive for 18-plus years. It may take 3-4 months to cover all people in the national capital.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting on Thursday regarding the third phase of the vaccination drive. “Had a meeting with the officials on vaccination drive in Delhi… prepared a plan to vaccinate all above 18 years in the next 3 months. We will set up vaccination centres on a large scale. All eligible people must come forward to get vaccinated,” Kejriwal said after the meeting.

Maharashtra Chief Minister also a held meeting on Covid-19 vaccination yesterday.However, in Uttar Pradesh, the rollout will be a ceremonial one. States like Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab and Andhra may not begin the drive on May 1.

Meanwhile, India’s ambitious vaccination drive in Mumbai also didn’t meet expected outcome because of the shortage of Covid jabs, as claimed by a top official tweets.

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“Vaccination for the new age group will start only after enough vaccines are made available, and not exactly on 1st May,” tweeted Ashwini Bhide, Additional Municipal Commissioner in Mumbai’s civic body BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation).

She said senior citizens need not worry that they would be deprived of Covid shots when the new round of vaccinations began for all adults.

“Please wait till we have adequate vaccine stock and you can get your jab without having to stand in long queues. We will continue to put out more details. Please take care. Wear double masks at vaccination centres,” she tweeted, making it official that vaccinations will not begin for a wider group in India’s financial capital.

Ms Bhide asserted that the inoculation of those above 45 would continue even if it took longer.

“All senior citizens in Mumbai are kindly requested not to crowd or stand in long queues at vaccination centres. Vaccine is in short supply just for now and so not available at all places in enough quantity. But be rest assured that all 45+ years citizens will eventually get vaccinated,” tweeted Ms Bhide.

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“Even when the new drive for 18-44 year age group starts, the centres available now will continue to remain active for 45+ years citizens. BMC will add at least 500 more public and private (centres) for the new drive. So vaccination for 45+ shall not be compromised or slowed down.”

Notably, today PM Modi is scheduled to hold a crucial meeting with ministers to discuss ways to tackle the resurge of Coronavirus infections in the country.

As of now, India has been reporting over 3 lakh coronavirus cases per day for more than a week now. According to the Union Health Ministry data, India reports highest single-day spike of 3,86,452 cases; 10 states account for 73.05% of new Covid-19 cases in India; the country has been reporting over 3 lakh coronavirus cases per day for more than a week now. Earlier this month, Modi had held separate meetings with state chief ministers, vaccine manufacturers, and medical oxygen producers.

According to Thursday data, India saw a record single-day surge of 3,79,257 new coronavirus infections, pushing the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,83,76,524, while active cases crossed the 30-lakh mark.

Given to the worsening situation, many states/UTs have imposed restrictions like curfew and lockdown in order to limit the spread of the second wave of coronavirus infections. Measures like closing schools and educational institutes, strict action against mask indiscipline, ban on rallies, curb on social gatherings are also in place.

As the Covid-19 surge continues, India is set to open vaccination for citizens above 18 years from May 1, with an aim to widen the drive to a larger and younger population. However, phase 3 of the vaccination drive may see a slow start with many states/UTs complaining of a shortage in vaccine supply.

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