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Mayor Kishori Pednekar sheds light on vaccine shortage in Mumbai

Currently, the vaccination drive has been put on hold until the state government receives the stock from the central government. So far, many citizens above 45 years of age have been vaccinated in Mumbai and other districts of Maharashtra.

Mayor Kishori Pednekar sheds light on vaccine shortage in Mumbai

Vaccination drive, across the state, is being carried out in multiple phases, with an aim to control the spread of COVID-19 and also to help people fight the infection. So far, citizens above the age of 60 were vaccinated for the coronavirus, and the government, in May 2021, announced that the same will now be available for citizens between the age of 18 and 44. However, the country has been facing a huge shortage of vaccines due to which, the recent plan has been stopped in many states. 

Reports state that the unavailability has also hampered the vaccination drive for citizens below 45 years of age.

Meanwhile, several private firms have been conducting vaccination for their employees and citizens have complained about its availability in the private sector. Observing this, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar has also raised this issue stating that the central government is supplying vaccines to the private sector with money. Similarly, the state and the municipal corporations should be supplied with vaccines as they are also ready to offer money and pay for the same. Besides this, the government has been administering vaccines at no cost, she said targeting the Centre.

The statement was made by her in an interview with the news channel, where she clarified that the officials have come to know about private hospitals buying vaccines from the centre, and this has led to citizens paying for the same. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) does not function in that manner, and the corporation has been administering the vaccines for free and will continue to do so. Meanwhile, the civic body is ready to offer payments to the centre, but the supply is not being received or being considered. 

She added that the center should provide the vaccines as it is being given to the people for free, and this is beneficial for the society. However, shedding light on the bias, Mayor mentioned that the central government has been giving them to the private sector and not to the Municipal Corporation, because of which the cost of vaccines has varied from INR 1000 to 1800. 

The people in Mumbai are being given vaccines without any discrimination between the rich and the poor. The state government is ready to purchase the vaccines and the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has also shown readiness to pay INR 12 crore for the same. However, there is a lot of confusion from the centre, Pednekar said, further assuring that the corporation will continue free vaccination as soon as the vaccines are received and the centres are reopened.

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