New Delhi, May 1: The drive to inoculate COVID-19 vaccine to those between 18 and 44 years starts today. However, citizens above 18 will get vaccinated only in five states as other states and union territories have either postponed the vaccination for this age group or are uncertain about starting the drive. Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh have announced that inoculation of all aged 18-45 years would begin from May 1. Even in these five states, the new phase of the vaccination drive will remain limited to just a few districts. COVID-19 Vaccination for 18 Plus: Short on Supply, No Shots on May 1, Say Southern States.
Maharashtra: In Maharashtra, a nominal vaccination drive will begin on May 1 for those above 18, said Health Minister Rajesh Tope. "Maharashtra CM believes that vaccination must start vaccination from May 1, when Maharashtra Day is celebrated. So just for the inauguration, we will start a nominal vaccination drive on that day," he said.
Rajasthan: The vaccination for those between 18 and 44 will start today in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Udaipur, Alwar, Dholpur, Bhilwara, Kota, Sikar and Pali districts of Rajasthan.
Uttar Pradesh: In Uttar Pradesh, the drive will start on May 1 in only seven of the total 75 districts. These seven districts are Lucknow, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Meerut and Bareilly.
Gujarat: Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Friday said that the COVID-19 vaccination drive for those aged above 18 will commence only in 10 most-affected districts of the state from May 1.
Chhattisgarh: Health Minister TS Singh Deo said that the state will start the vaccination from the poorest people including Antyodaya cardholders and Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
Other states, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, and union territories, including Delhi and Puducherry, said they did not have adequate stocks of vaccines to meet the expected rush of immunity seekers.