Maharashtra on Tuesday said it is "slowing down" the Covid vaccination process for those in the 18-44 age group to focus on those over 45 due to a shortage of doses in the state. There will, however, be no stopping the vaccination process, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.
"We are slowing down the process (of vaccination) for 18-44 because we don't have vaccines. We don't want to stop but right now we have no vaccines. So we will be giving vaccines right now to 45+ only," Mr Tope told NDTV, "A discussion is on with the Chief Minister on getting more vaccines."
Earlier the state said it was considering the possibility of importing vaccines directly for the use of citizens in Mumbai.
"We are looking at the possibility of globally procuring vaccines for Mumbai. If we can do that... we have a roadmap to vaccinate the people of Mumbai within three weeks," state minister Aaditya Thackeray told NDTV in an exclusive interview on Monday.
The worst-hit state in the pandemic, Maharashtra on Monday reported 37,236 fresh infections, taking active cases to nearly six lakh and overall caseload to nearly 51.4 lakh. It also reported 549 deaths, putting the total number of dead at 76,398.
According to the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, COVID-19 vaccination is available for free at government vaccination centres that receive doses from the centre for eligible population groups, comprising healthcare workers, frontline workers, and people above the age of 45.
However, states and private hospitals have to procure 50 per cent of the vaccines in order to immunise persons in the age group of 18 to 44.