West Bengal limits vaccination drive to priority groups citing shortage in doses; All you need to know

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The West Bengal government said it will limit the vaccination drive to priority groups among the 18-44 age group owing to a shortage of doses, on the day the Centre's plan to provide free inoculation to all adults came into effect.

What the West Bengal government has said

The state government has said that due to the shortage of doses, not everyone above 18 years will be given the COVID-19 vaccine. "We will take stock of the supply of vaccines to decide on the future course of action. As of now, there is no change in policy from tomorrow. We will, however, increase the quantity of vaccination daily as per the supply we receive," a health official was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

The decision to restrict vaccination is to also to avoid overcrowding at government hospitals, officials told Telegraph.

There is no major change in the number of vaccination centres or personnel being deployed for the drive, the Directorate of Health Services has said.

Whom does the priority group include?

Priority groups include health workers and their families, transport, media professionals, sanitation workers and hawkers, among others.

Vaccinations and COVID-19 cases in West Bengal

The state has vaccinated 1,92,02,799 people so far, with 1.88 lakh doses being administered in 24 hours.

COVID-19 cases continued on the downward path in West Bengal, with 2,184 cases being recorded in the 24-hour period ending 8 am on Monday. A total of 53 people died due to the infection in the same period, with nine casualties from North 24 Parganas and seven each from Nadia, Kolkata, South 24 Parganas and Hooghly.

The state has the infrastructure in place to administer Covid vaccinations to up to 5 lakh individuals every day, officials said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government was not following the spirit of federalism in the matter of vaccination supplies. The West Bengal chief minister asked why the Centre retained the right of distribution of 25 percent COVID-19 vaccines to private hospitals.

Centre rolls out free vaccination for all adults

Prime Minister Modi had announced on 7 June that the Centre will take over the task of vaccination from state governments and provide COVID-19 vaccines free of cost to all adults from 21 June. As per the plan, the Centre will buy 75 percent of the total vaccine production from manufacturers. The prime minister said private hospitals can continue to procure 25 percent of vaccines but their charge would be capped at Rs 150 per dose.

Andhra Pradesh vaccination record

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh vaccinated 13,59,300 people on Sunday, a possible world record feat in any single province, according to PTI.

As many as 28,917 staff of the Medical and Health Department, 40,000 ASHA workers and 5,000 other staff made the unique feat possible in a marathon 15 hours in 4,589 vaccination centres across the state, Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar said on Sunday night.

India has administered 28 crore vaccines so far, according to CoWin dashboard data.

Also See: COVID-19 updates: Bengal, Uttarakhand extend curbs with some relaxations; India logs 70,421 new cases

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