The vaccination drive has faced roadblocks due to lack of doses (File image: Reuters)
Considering the shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, the Maharashtra government is planning to prioritise those in the 35-44 age group with comorbidities.
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is expected to take a decision on it.
Read: Can the single dose Sputnik Light COVID-19 jab be a game changer for India?
Owing to limited vaccine doses, Maharashtra is currently inoculating people in the 18-44 age group only at selected centres with priority given to those eligible for the second dose.
"In many places, tech-savvy people from cities take appointments for vaccination in talukas and rural areas. Till we have an abundant supply of vaccines, we will have to make slots as per the age group and comorbidities. If 100 percent from the 18-44 category are allowed to go, there can be crowding. We plan to have an age bracket of 35 to 44, with a preference to people with comorbidities. I will discuss this with the chief minister," Tope said, as quoted by Hindustan Times.
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He further said that the state will begin vaccination for the 18-34 age group after adequate doses are available.
"The Serum Institute of India had assured us an additional 3,50,000 vaccine doses, but so far it has not come. For the 18-44 age group, we are going slow as per the availability of 779,000 vaccines. As we get more stock, we will ramp it up," Tope added.
Maharashtra is also in contact with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to procure Sputnik V doses, Tope said.
Separate COVID-19 task force for children
Amid rising cases of COVID-19 infections among children, the Maharashtra
government is setting up a paediatric task force to create infrastructure for their treatment.
"A paediatric task force is being set up to tackle the third wave of COVID-19 where children could also get infected. We will need new designs for isolation or treatment centres because generally, the mother has to stay with the child," Tope said.Click here for Moneycontro's full coverage of COVID-19 outbreak