UP extends 18+ vaccination drive to 5 more districts

While many states have curtailed the vaccination in the 18-44 years’ age group, citing lack of vaccines, the Uttar Pradesh government is preparing to expand the drive in this age group from Monday.

According to the government spokesman, vaccination for 18 plus group will be conducted in 23 districts of the state from May 17.

The 23 districts include Aligarh, Agra, Prayagraj, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Jhansi, Bareilly, Meerut, Moradabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Saharanpur, Firozabad, Mathura-Vrindavan, Ayodhya, Shahjahanpur, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Mirzapur, Banda, Gonda, Azamgarh and Basti.

Five more districts have been included in the campaign and these include Mirzapur, Banda, Gonda, Azamgarh and Basti. Earlier, 18 districts had initiated the vaccination campaign in the 18-44 age group.

Taking the lead in Covid vaccination, the state has so far administered as many as 1,47,94,597 doses of vaccine.

Of these, 1,16,12,525 have received their first dose and around 31,82,072 got their second dose of the vaccine.

The government has been consistently working to ramp up the vaccination drive in the state.

The chief minister is making all necessary arrangements to ensure there is no budgetary constraint in procuring vaccines. The state government has already made an advance payment to the vaccine manufacturers and became the first state to make such a move.

The state government has placed orders for the supply of one crore Covid vaccine doses — 50 lakh doses from Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited that manufactures Covaxin and 50 lakh doses from the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) that makes Covishield.

The state has received 3.50 lakh doses of Covishield from SII and 1.50 lakh doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech so far.

The state government had floated a global tender for 40 million vaccine doses, earlier this month, to meet its huge requirement of vaccine doses.

The Uttar Pradesh government has also opened communication channels with prospective suppliers to ensure quick delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to boost the inoculation drive for the 18-44 years’ age group as well as those above 45 years.

Six vaccine manufacturers attended a pre-bid meeting convened by Uttar Pradesh last week to discuss procurement of 40 million Covid-19 jabs.

The government is estimated to spend up to 100 billion rupees to buy Covid-19 shots.

Meanwhile, for seamless monitoring of Covid-19 arrangements, the UP government has appointed 59 officials in the rank of secretary and principal secretary as nodal officers in 75 districts.

Chief secretary R.K. Tiwari has directed officers to review treatment and prevention mechanisms and monitor Covid-related activities.