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Mumbai may not start vaccination for all from May 1, says BMC commissioner Iqbal Chahal

The BMC commissioner said he was willing to face criticism for his stand, but it was practical. Mumbai has an estimated 50-60 lakh population that falls in the 18-44 age bracket, and hence the tentative doses required would be 1.2 crores.

Mumbai may not start vaccination for all from May 1, says BMC commissioner Iqbal Chahal
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As Mumbai is facing a shortage of vaccination, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said that unless the city was assured of adequate vaccine doses for the population in the 18-44 age group by the state government, the civic body may not roll out the drive on May 1.

The BMC commissioner said he was willing to face criticism for his stand, but it was practical. Mumbai has an estimated 50-60 lakh population that falls in the 18-44 age bracket, and hence the tentative doses required would be 1.2 crores.

Hence, until assured of adequate supply for all, we would want to continue vaccinating only those in the 45-plus category, he said, once again underlining that there was no point in asking everyone to come on the road if there were no vaccines.

Chahal said the state government was already in talks with vaccine manufacturers for procurement.

The state’s public health department on Monday wrote to Bharat Biotech, makers of Covaxin, enquiring about the number of doses they would be able to provide for the next six months and the likely cost.

Dr Pradeep Vyas wrote that if Maharashtra decides to vaccinate the population between l8 to 44 years, then about 12 crore doses would be required. “We would like you to inform us as to how many doses of Covaxin you would be in a position to supply to Maharashtra every month for the next six months beginning May 2021,” the letter stated.

The government has also asked the company to suggest procurement price per dose and other conditions if any. “An early response is requested, so a suitable decision can be taken by the government,” the letter read.

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