Following the Chhattisgarh High Court orders to the state government to 'immediately' start vaccination drive for people falling in 18-45 years age group on Friday, state health minister T S Singh Deo said on Saturday that vaccination has been started for this age group.
The court has also granted liberty to continue inoculation of COVID vaccines to Antyodaya group, persons below poverty line (BPL) and above poverty line (APL) groups of people in one-third ratio till it finalises its vaccination policy.
Earlier, the HC had raised objection to the state's vaccination policy to prioritize 'Antyodaya Card' holders and for postponing the vaccination drive for beneficiaries aged 18-44. It had also asked to fix a reasonable ratio of allotment of vaccines to 'Antyodaya', BPL and APL categories.
Speaking to ANI, state health minister T S Singh Deo said, "Vaccination has been started for people aged 18-44. We have heard some problems are arising for APL category which should not happen. On May 1, we had received 1.5 lakh doses of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and we are continuing the vaccination drive with that. Today we were supposed to receive 3.5 lakh Covishield doses, which will be used to carry forward the vaccination drive in the state."
"We had ordered, 25 lakh doses from Bharat Biotech for Covaxin and 50 lakh from Serum Institue of India, Pune for Covishield. These will be given to us depending on the availability," he added.
Raising his concern about the COVID vaccination drives happening across the country, he said, "The central government should take over the vaccination drives. There should be a single vaccination drive which should be controlled by the Central government itself."
Refuting the backlash faced by the opposition in the state, the minister said, "I think what the opposition in Chhattisgarh is saying now is completely political. Earlier, they used to suggest things, to give direction and help."
Speaking about the HC's decision, Janata Congress Chhattisgarh chief Amit Jogi said, "I hope that now the state government will wake up and instead of cheating everyone, it will work towards vaccination everyone."
( With inputs from ANI )
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