In much-needed good news for Maharashtra, a total of 10,53,000 doses of Covishield vaccines, of which 350,000 were purchased from the Serum Institute of India for vaccination of 18-44 category were received by the state on Sunday.
A report by Hindustan Times quoted state immunisation officer DN Patil saying, “On Sunday we received 703,000 doses of Covishield and only 36,000 doses of Covaxin for the vaccination of people over age 45. Besides that, we received 350,000 Covishield vaccines, which the state government has purchased for vaccination of people in the 18-44 category. All the doses have been shipped out to various districts and the drive will continue.”
In a letter to the Centre on Saturday, principal secretary of the state health department, Dr Pradeep Vyas, sought urgent supply of Covaxin as more than 500,000 people, in the above 45 age group, are due for their second dose.
Earlier this week, the Centre supplied 1,150,000 doses of Covid vaccines. However, after inoculating 234,578 people on Saturday, 363,753 on Friday and 454,546 on Thursday, the state has almost exhausted its stock.
In Mumbai, vaccination saw a dip in the turnout as only 19,631 people got the shots — a fall of 67% compared to Saturday.
All major vaccination centres, including Nesco jumbo centre in Goregaon and BKC in Bandra, remained shut due to lack of doses.
BMC’s executive health officer Dr Mangala Gomare said vaccination for 45 years and above would start in the afternoon on Monday as the centres need to first collect the doses from the central depot in Kanjurmarg.
For the 18-44 age group, the number of centres has been increased from eight to 10. Dindoshi Hall in Malad and Rajasthan Seva Sangh in Evershine Nagar have been added to the list.
Seeking to dispel vaccine shortage fears, guardian minister of Mumbai suburban Aaditya Thackeray, while speaking to a Marathi news channel, said that the state is speaking to Adar Poonawala, CEO of Serum Institute, about making vaccines available.
“As soon as the doses are received, it will be distributed in an equitable manner. Apna time aayega (Our time will come)," he said.