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Coronavirus Vaccination in Maharashtra can start from January 2021: Rajesh Tope

The BMC is converting the first floor, measuring 5,000 square feet, in a five-storey civic building opposite the Kanjurmarg police station into a cold storage facility.

Coronavirus Vaccination in Maharashtra can start from January 2021: Rajesh Tope
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As the testing of coronavirus vaccines has reached in its final stage, the Maharashtra government, along with the central government, has started pre-vaccination preparations. The state Health Minister Rajesh Tope, on Thursday, December 17, said that along with setting priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination, the procedure of the vaccine distribution  has also been finalised.

While talking to media, Rajesh Tope said that Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech have applied to the Centre seeking permission for the emergency use authorization for their candidate vaccine. If the central government gives authorisation by the end of December, the state government can start rolling out the vaccination by January.

On December 10, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation's Subject Expert Committee recommended the Serum Institute of India to submit the updated safety data of the Phase 2/3 clinical trials, immunogenicity data from the clinical trial in UK and India, and outcome of the assessment of UK-MHRA for grant of EUA.

He also said that micro-planning is being done by the central government for vaccination and the Centre is collecting data from the states.

The training of 18,000 employees, who will be a part of the vaccination team will be completed soon. The state health minister Rajesh Tope has said that Maharashtra can start mass COVID-19 vaccination from January if the Centre's authorisation in this regard comes by the end of this month, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said.

“We have focused on the work that the state government wants to do and it is expected that the cost of vaccination will be borne by the central government. There is no reason to worry as there is enough staff for vaccination in the state,” said Rajesh Tope.

About the vaccination in the state, Tope said that the Maharashtra government is working in three phases. "The first phase is of training. We are aggressively working on providing training to the health workers. The second phase is fulfilling the cold chain requirements and the third is logistics -- what will be the price of the vaccine and other things. It will be done according to the central government guidelines." Tope added that at least three crore people in Maharashtra are on the priority list for the vaccination.

The Brihanmumbai municipal corporation (BMC) is converting the first floor, measuring 5,000 square feet, in a five-storey civic building opposite the Kanjurmarg police station into a cold storage facility. Moreover, the BMC has also collated the names along with email address and phone numbers of over 1.25 lakh health workers from the public and private sector, who will be given a priority to receive the vaccine.

However, on December 14, the Modi government had released guidelines for the rolling out of coronavirus vaccination ahead of its distribution.

Read More: Things you need to know about COVID-19 vaccination in India

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