The next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive for the age-appropriate population groups will commenced from May 1. Under phase three of the vaccination drive, everyone above 18 years of age will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1, the central government said on April 19. The registration for the same will begin at 4 pm on Wednesday.
The Thackeray government has decided to provide free corona vaccine to the people of the state. The issue of free vaccination has been under discussion for the past few days. The demand for free vaccination were being made from all levels. The decision was finally taken at today's cabinet meeting. 5 crore 71 lakh citizens in the age group of 18 to 44 years will be vaccinated free of cost. However, this age group will not get corona vaccine from May 1, said Rajesh Tope.
However, due to insufficient stocks of corona vaccines in the state at present, Health Minister Tope has expressed inability to start vaccination of persons in the age group of 18 to 45 years from May 1. As there are only two vaccines available in the country at present, there are no alternatives available. In addition, the center will buy 50 per cent of the stock held by two vaccine companies. The remaining 50 per cent can be purchased by the state government, private companies and private hospitals. Therefore, there is a limit on state governments, Tope said.
The government has set a target of completing corona vaccination in the state within six months. The government was trying to start vaccination of citizens in the age group of 18 to 44 years from May 1. "We can't start the vaccination even if we want to," Tope said. Separate vaccination centers will be started for citizens in the age group of 18 to 44 years. He informed that persons in the age group of 18 to 44 years will not be vaccinated at the place where person above the age of 45 years are being vaccinated.
Full planning will be done soon for vaccination in the age group of 18 to 45 years. For this, there are plans to make three groups of 18 to 25, 25 to 35 and 35 to 44. Apart from this, consideration is also being given as to whether priority should be given to those suffering from chronic diseases. Citizens should come to the center to get vaccinated only after registering on the Covin app and making an appointment. He also appealed not to crowd the vaccination center.