Adar Poonawalla promised 1.5 crore Covishield doses to Maharashtra after May 20: Rajesh Tope
Amid shortage of doses, the Maharashtra government has temporarily suspended COVID-19 vaccination of individuals in 18-44 age group
May 13, 2021 / 09:05 AM IST
A vial of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which is produced in India and marketed as Covishield (Image: Reuters/Gleb Garanich)
Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla has promised Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that 1.5 crore doses of Covishield will be delivered to the state after May 20, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said on May 12.
"Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla has promised the Chief Minister to deliver 1.5 crore doses of Covishield to Maharashtra after May 20. We will start the vaccination for the 18-44 years age group after we receive the vaccine." Tope was quoted as saying by ANI.
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Amid shortage of doses, the Maharashtra government has temporarily suspended COVID-19 vaccination of individuals in 18-44 age group, and said that doses will be diverted for those aged 45 and above.
At a meeting on May 12, the Maharashtra Cabinet recommended extension of the lockdown in the state. Tope said Thackeray will take the final decision on the matter.
Maharashtra minister Aslam Sheikh said the Centre should ease the rules for purchasing COVID-19 vaccines.
"If the Centre eases its import laws a bit, we will be able to vaccinate people in three to four months. More rights need to be given to states so that we can purchase vaccines from the market and vaccinate people," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Maharashtra on May 12 reported a single-day spike of 46,781 new COVID-19 cases and 816 deaths. The state has so far reported more than 52 lakh cases and over 78,000 deaths since the pandemic began, the highest caseload among states and Union Territories in the country.
More than 1.8 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Maharashtra so far, of which 1.51 crore are first doses and 38.11 lakh are second doses.