The Central Government earlier announced all Indian citizens above the age of 18 are eligible to take COVID jabs from May 1. The Centre also allowed states to directly procure vaccine doses from manufacturers. States are now gearing up to inoculate those in the age group of 18-45 years. But the problem is vaccine availability.
Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and few other states cannot start their vaccine drive as there is a shortage for it. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat are also facing issues.
Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Odisha, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Puducherry and Delhi have confirmed that the vaccination drive cannot begin as soon as May 1.
A similar situation was faced by Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra Pradesh government cannot administer the Covid-19 vaccine to people aged 18 to 45 years old from May 1st due to inadequate supply. However, the ongoing programme to the already targeted beneficiaries with the current doses will continue.
Unlike the previous practice of establishing Covid Vaccination Centers and setting a time schedule between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to start a vaccination campaign for healthcare professionals, frontline workers, and people aged 45 to 60 years, no such plans have been made for Saturday. However, people between the ages of 18 and 45 are still registering for the vaccine on the CoWIN website.
Since the Centre distributes four to five lakh doses of both types of vaccine every week, state health officials are hopeful that new vaccine stocks will be available to administer shots to the new beneficiaries.