Bengaluru, May 13: As India faces Covid-19 vaccine crisis, government suspends vaccination in states like Maharastra and Karnataka for 18-44 age group.
Government suspends vaccination for 18-44 age groups in Maharashtra
The government suspends vaccination in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka for the 18-44 age group as the states face vaccine shortage. The government of Maharashtra on Tuesday suspended the COVID-19 vaccination drive for the 18-44 age group due to a shortage of the vaccine. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope told the media that the government has decided to prioritize the second dose of the 45+ age group people with the remaining stock of vaccines. The minister said the move, however, is temporary.
“There is a dearth of vaccines, hence we’re considering holding off vaccination drive temporarily for the 18-44 age group. 2.75 lakh vaccine doses are left for this age group that’ll be now used for 45 years and above group. Administering the second dose is a priority,” the minister said.
Karnataka government suspends vaccination
Karnataka government suspends vaccination for the age group of 18 to 44 years from May 14, said officials. According to the state government, the order will be applicable to all government Covid vaccination centres in the state.
“The state government has decided that the vaccine procured directly by the state for vaccination of persons between 18 to 44 years will be utilised for vaccination of beneficiaries who are due for the second dose,” read the statement.
Earlier, the state government had decided to utilise the complete supply of vaccines provided by the Centre for vaccination of beneficiaries of 45 years and above who were due for the second dose.
“Therefore all vaccines available with the state government including supplied by GoI and procured directly by the state will be utilised for vaccination of beneficiaries due for the second dose. In this regard vaccination for the age group of 18-44 years (including those who have already booked appointments) will be temporarily suspended from May 14, 2021, till further orders. This order will be applicable for COVID vaccination at all government COVID vaccination centres in the state,” it added.
Black fungus fear
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope also informed that patients suffering from mucormycosis or black fungus disease will now be treated free-of-cost in the state under Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana. “Over 2,000 cases have been reported and 8 people have died due to this infection in the state so far. We are making special wards for these patients,” Tope said.
Lockdown-like restrictions have been imposed in Maharashtra since the start of April and these are due to end on May 14 unless extended further.
Stricter restrictions were imposed in the western state following an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases during the ongoing second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vaccination drive in Karnataka
As per data shared by the Karnataka Health Department, a total of 1.08 crore doses of vaccine has been administered in the state so far, since January 16. Of these, over 85.88 lakh were first doses while 22.93 were second doses administered across age and priority groups so far. Karnataka had launched the 18-44 age group Covid vaccination drive on May 1 but it has failed to take off due to a severe shortage of doses.
State Health minister K Sudhakar had on April 30 suggested that it was better to delay the launch of the drive as the state did not have the necessary stock, which was also endorsed by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.