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Coronavirus | Paucity of doses puts the brakes on vaccination in Maharashtra

Beneficiaries line up to get vaccinated at a drive-in COVID-19 vaccination centre at Vashi in Navi Mumbai on May 6, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Even though Maharashtra tops the chart in the number of individuals receiving the double doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the inoculation has slowed down over the past week.

Despite the shortage of vaccines, the overcrowding at vaccination centres in urban areas of the State, especially Mumbai and Thane, has triggered the fear of these centres turning into hotspots for COVID-19 infection.

On April 26, Maharashtra recorded the highest number of vaccine doses administered, at 5,34,228. On the same day, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray congratulated health professionals and announced that the State had set up the infrastructure to vaccinate more than eight lakh citizens a day.

However, since then, the State has not achieved the desired target nor has it maintained the record, and instead the downward trend began, due to the vaccine shortage. On April 27 and 28, the State could vaccinate only 3,88,164 and 2,37,434 individuals, respectively.

The steep downward curve was visible from April 30 to May 2 when the total number of vaccinations in the State came down from 2,87,157 to 47,613. On May 1, when vaccinations for those above 18 years was opened, the State government had to shut down many centres due to lack of shots.

After Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope announced that the State was receiving more vaccine doses, the number of individuals getting the jabs has increased in the last two days. On May 4 and 5, the total vaccinations in the State were 97,912 and 2,59,552, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued directions to avoid overcrowding at vaccination centres in Mumbai with only those having registered themselves on Co-WIN portal and booked appointments will be getting doses, with exceptions of those above 45 years having gotten the first dose, health workers, and frontline workers.

In addition, the BMC has decided to set up at least one drive-in vaccination centre in each administrative zone of Mumbai. These centres will come up in big open grounds to avoid traffic jams. These centres will be opened only for citizens above 60 years coming strictly by appointments and beneficiaries should not come driving themselves.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 6:34:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-paucity-of-doses-puts-the-brakes-on-vaccination-in-maharashtra/article34502535.ece

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