Only half-a-dozen states have decided to roll out the vaccination drive for the 18-plus age group on May 1 due to vaccine shortage.
The Centre had on April 18 announced the ‘liberalized’ vaccination drive from May 1. Apart from making everyone above 18 years of age eligible, the vaccination strategy allows states, private hospitals and industrial establishments to procure the doses directly from manufacturers.
Vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the Centre and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to state governments and in the open market.
Tamil Nadu is one of the 22 states which have decided to postpone the vaccination for 18-plus age group while some private hospitals have decided to roll it out.
In the six states — Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Gujarat — vaccination for the 18-plus age group will take place only in a few districts and not across the entire state.
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope told the media that the vaccination will start for 18 plus in a very small way as the state still does not have enough vaccine doses.
In Uttar Pradesh, the vaccination will commence in six of the total 75 districts. The districts where the vaccination will commence are Lucknow, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Gorakpur, Meerut and Bereilly. In Rajasthan the vaccination will begin in three (Ajmer, Jaipur and Jodhpur) of the 33 districts.
Telangana has decided to completely stop the vaccination even for 45 years and above on May 1 and 2 due to acute shortage of vaccines. Karnataka has also refused to roll out the vaccination for the 18-plus group due to a shortage of vaccines.
In Tamil Nadu, health secretary J Radhakrishnan and Chennai Corporation commissioner Prakash said the state will not roll out vaccination for the 18-plus due to shortage of vaccine, but vaccination will continue for persons above 45 years of age.
West Bengal is said to begin the vaccination for 18-plus on May 5 by which the election results for the state will also be released.
Apollo Hospitals on Friday said in a statement that vaccination for the 18-plus category will be rolled out in its hospitals provided those who are ready to take the jab must register on the CoWin app.
“The hospitals have made arrangements to procure vaccines directly from the manufactures as per the Centre’s directive. As per the government guidelines, the vaccines will be administered to eligible individuals who have registered on the CoWin app and have made an appointment for a jab in the hospitals,” said the hospitals in a statement.
While it is free of cost in all government hospitals, as per the Centre’s directive, private hospitals are allowed to procure the vaccines from manufacturers directly at Rs 1200 per dose. The private hospitals were allowed to charge Rs 250 per jab for those who are 45 years and above, now the dose per jab for 18 years and above will be Rs 1,200.