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Health Department takes steps to start phase III vaccination drive

Health Department takes steps to start phase III vaccination drive
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KOLKATA: The state Health department has been taking preparations for initiating phase III vaccination drive for people in the age group of 18 to 45 years. The drive could not be launched in Bengal due to the unavailability of vaccine doses.

Vaccination drive for those requiring the second dose has also been affected due to shortage of vaccine doses. First dose vaccinations are only done on the health workers, front line workers and other Covid warriors but the number is much lower compared to the second dose.

Around 4.80 lakh doses of Covishield arrived in the city on Wednesday. The stock in the Central Medical store in Bagbazar dropped below 1 lakh doses on Wednesday till the new consignments came. On Monday, around one lakh doses of Covaxin had arrived in the state. The state had recently placed an order of around 14 lakh doses out of which 7.40 lakh doses already arrived. It is expected that the immunisation drive in the state will be slightly accelerated from Thursday. Around 4.80 lakh doses of Covishield, which reached the Central Medical store, would be distributed among the Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs) from Thursday.

The state has already sought a total of three crore doses of vaccine from the Centre so that both the government and private hospitals do not face any difficulties in administering Covid doses on the beneficiaries. Private hospitals had to stop all vaccination drives due to shortage of stock.

Those, who had received the first dose of vaccine from private hospitals, have already been diverted to government establishments for the second dose. The state government, however, assured the private hospitals that they would supply doses to the private hospitals after they receive an adequate quantity of doses.

Bengal has already placed its demand for procuring vaccine for starting vaccinating people aged between 18 and 45 years. A private hospital in the city has, however, administered doses on people in the age group of 18 to 45 years.

KMC has already opened its borough offices to administer doses on the beneficiaries who had received the first dose from private establishments.

The state Health department till Tuesday vaccinated a total 1,22,25,224 people including health workers, front line workers and elderly people. Around 1,07,882 people were administered the vaccine on Tuesday.

Bengal on Wednesday conducted vaccination of about 1,64,304 people. Around 13,215 received the first dose while 1,48,688 got the second dose. Around 1,24,05,985 people have been vaccinated across the state till Wednesday.

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