COVID-19: Maharashtra Govt Asks Centre to Streamline Supply of Vaccines

COVID-19: Maharashtra Govt Asks Centre to Streamline Supply of Vaccines

State Health Officials have said that the “controlled” release of vaccine vials by the Central Government is likely to slow down the vaccination process in Maharashtra. 

The state has set an ambitious target of vaccinating up to 1 crore citizens in the new phase of vaccinations that covers seniors over the age of 65 and people over 45 with comorbidities. These two groups are being vaccinated simultaneously along with healthcare staff and frontline workers. 

Officials said that the State only has 44.74 lakh doses of vaccines including both Covishield and Covaxin. State Technical Expert on COVID-19, Dr Subhash Salunke said that the delivery of doses must be streamlined in order to adequately scale vaccinations in private and civic hospitals. 

“We want to scale up sessions in the coming one week,” Dr Salunke added. Meanwhile, State Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas has said that they have been asked to scale the vaccination drive after March 7 with the soft launch starting on March 1.

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“These private hospitals were doing good work and have trained manpower. Moreover, people who were vaccinated at these sites will now have to be called to other sites for their second dose. This move was completely unnecessary and will only cause more delays,” Dr Vyas said.

A senior official from the State Government said that some private hospitals in the state that aren’t empanelled under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana have been informed to stop vaccinations. This, the official believes, is a major hindrance to the process of scaling up vaccinations. 

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State IMA President Dr Avinash Bhondwe echoed the sentiment. “Private facilities that had the space and trained staff were unnecessarily asked to discontinue. In Pune, Poona Hospital, Sahyadri and Joshi hospital have had to discontinue vaccine drives after the new circular,” he said.

Commenting on the delivery of the vaccine doses, State Immunization Officer, Dr DN Patil said that the Centre will have to make sure the vials are dispatched quickly. 

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