In Maharashtra, 9.5 crore people have already been inoculated. Almost 3.5 crore adults between the age group of 18 and 44 years have received the first doses—the highest in the state among other age groups.
THOUGH THE state government lacks complete data about unvaccinated students in the state, the state health minister Rajesh Tope assured that the public health department has sufficient vials to inoculate students on priority without causing any shortages for other beneficiaries.
The health department along with the higher and technical education departments initiated the Mission Yuva Swasth Abhiyaan drive on Monday, which will continue till November 2. On the first day, a total of 3,920 students were vaccinated in 35 colleges.
To get accurate data about the number of unvaccinated students in the state, Tope instructed the districts to submit the figure to estimate the requirement of vials for the drive.
“We are expecting to gather the data within 2-3 days, which will provide us with a clearer picture about the requirements of the vials. But as 70-75% of the students between the age group of 18 and 25 years have already been vaccinated, there wouldn’t be a problem to vaccinate them as we have enough vials available,” said Dr Tope.
Dr Pradeep Vyas, additional chief secretary, informed The Indian Express that as of Monday, the state had around 74lakh vials. “This vaccination drive will help to provide protection against the virus to the students especially those with comorbidities who are more vulnerable to acquiring the infection,” said Tope.
However, district health officers (DHO), who have been instructed to collect data from the education department, claim that the college authorities don’t have the data ready, which is delaying their process of compilation.
“We are yet to get the updated data from the education department to submit the report to the state. Once we have the cumulative data from all the colleges, we would be able to hold larger camps and complete vaccinating the students before their colleges open,” said Solapur, DHO, Dr Shitalkumar Jadhav.
Dr Deepak Selukar, DHO, Nagpur said that till Monday afternoon, only 34 colleges had submitted the report of unvaccinated students. “The colleges also don’t have the data ready. Now, when the ministry has instructed them, they are contacting students and updating the data,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is deliberating to provide an additional timing slot for students in vaccination centres after the conclusion of the special drive.
“We have two plans — either to provide a separate time slot to the students at the already available vaccination centres or only hold the vaccination camps in college premises. But we are yet to decide on it,” said Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner, BMC.
In the state, 9.5 crore people have already been inoculated. Almost 3.5 crore adults between the age group of 18 and 44 years have received the first doses—the highest in the state among other age groups.
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