The state now aims to cover an estimated one crore citizens who are part of the new phase, those aged 60 and above and people over 45 with comorbidities. This group is being covered simultaneously, along with healthcare and frontline workers.
But the state currently has only 44.74 lakh doses of both Covishield and Covaxin.
Dr Subhash Salunke, the state technical expert on Covid, said for the vaccination drive to be scaled up across government and private hospitals, supply of doses must be streamlined.
“We want to scale up sessions in the coming one week,” Dr Salunke said, adding that the Centre should, at least of the new phase, stop “controlling” disbursement of doses.
State health secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said they have been asked to scale up the drive from March 7, after the soft launch on March 1.
A senior state government official said some private hospitals that are not empanelled under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana have been asked to discontinue the vaccination drive, which he said was a major setback for the state.
“These private hospitals were doing good work and have trained manpower. Moreover, people who were vaccinated at these sites will now have to be called to other sites for their second dose. This move was completely unnecessary and will only cause more delays,” Dr Vyas said.
State immunisation officer Dr DN Patil said the Centre has to ensure doses are dispatched in a timely manner.
“As of now, we have 39.84 lakh doses of Covishield and 4.08 lakh doses of Covaxin. We should be getting more in the coming days,” he said.
The state IMA president Dr Avinash Bhondwe said the government’s move to de-list private facilities that are not empanelled is a hiccup.
“Private facilities that had the space and trained staff were unnecessarily asked to discontinue. In Pune, Poona Hospital, Sahyadri and Joshi hospital have had to discontinue vaccine drives after the new circular.”