Pawar said that Thackeray is keen that vaccinations for the 18-45 age group begins from May 1, which is Maharashtra Day
MUMBAI: Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said on Saturday that a five-member committee led by chief secretary Sitaram Kunte had been empowered by the cabinet to take decisions on gobal tendering for Covid-19 vaccines and remdesivir without seeking any clearance.
The state government had last week announced that it would import vaccines available in the international market if required. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had held a meeting with Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla last week and was informed that all the production that Serum does till May 24 has been booked for the Centre. Thackeray is in talks with Covaxin manufacturer Bharat Biotech.
Pawar said that Thackeray is keen that vaccinations for the 18-45 age group begins from May 1, which is Maharashtra Day. On whether the state would give the vaccine free for all under this category, Pawar said a final announcement on this will be made by Thackeray on May 1 but the state will appeal to all those who can afford it to pay for it. “Like the ‘Give up LPG subsidy campaign’, we can also appeal to those who can afford to pay for the vaccine,” Pawar said.
Only three lakh people could get vaccinated across the state on Friday as against 3.74 lakh on Thursday. In Mumbai, long queues were seen at most centres. Only 37,489 could be vaccinated on Saturday compared to the 48,280 on Friday.
“The BMC has no stocks and centres will hold a limited drive with their remaining stocks on Sunday,’” said a BMC official.
Late on Saturday, the BMC announced that only 30 out of the 59 public vaccination centres and seven out of the 73 private centres would operate on Sunday. “Priority will be given to those who come for their second dose,” said a release.