UP to start vaccination for 18-plus category in seven districts from May 1

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Lucknow, Apr 30 (PTI) The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday said it will start the first phase of vaccination for the 18-44 age group from Saturday in seven districts that have more than 9,000 active COVID-19 cases.

'From May 1, vaccination for people between 18-44 years will also start. In the first phase, which will be extended to other cities also, the government will start the vaccination in seven districts that have more than 9,000 active cases,' Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Amit Mohan Prasad said.

The COVID-19 vaccination drive will start in Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Meerut and Bareilly, he said.

The software made for this exercise will be tested in these districts before being used elsewhere, Prasad said.

He, however, did not elaborate on the availability of vaccines in the state and the number of registered beneficiaries.

The state government, which decided to vaccinate all those above 18 years, had on Thursday decided to float global tenders to purchase four to five crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

'The state government has decided to float global tenders for carrying the vaccination drive effectively. Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have been given orders of 50 lakh vaccine doses each. A global tender should also be floated to purchase four to five crore vaccine doses. This should be taken forward,' Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said.

So far, over 1.23 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the state. It includes 1.01 crore people who have taken the first dose and over 22.33 lakh who have taken the second dose also, Prasad said.

All those who are eligible should take the vaccine, he further said.