Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope Thursday announced a special drive to fully vaccinate students in the age group of 18 to 25 years across the state in order to help them attend physical classes at colleges.
The drive will begin October 25 and will go on till November 2 at colleges across Maharashtra. All colleges have been given the responsibility to collect data in three days on how many students have received the first dose.
“Based on this data that will be ready in the next three days we will get a figure on how many doses are required to vaccinate all students,” said Tope while addressing the media at Mantralaya.
There are around 40 lakh students from all educational fields in the state. Apart from helping with the data, the colleges will also have to provide three rooms to conduct the vaccination drive and create awareness among students about the importance of vaccination.
Tope said the health department will provide all colleges with medical equipment, ambulance, medical staff and vaccines. “After the drive is over, we will also facilitate three colleges who perform the best while playing their roles in the drive,” said Tope.
“No student will be allowed to come to college if they are not fully vaccinated. Till then they can attend online classes,” reiterated Uday Samant, state minister of Higher Education and Technical Education, who was a part of the conference.
Tope said they will provide Covaxin or Covishield depending on the availability and the time gap between the two doses will be followed as per the ICMR guidelines.
Speaking on other issues related to vaccination, Tope said 6.40 crore people in the state have got first doses and 2.90 crore have got second doses, adding Maharashtra is number one in giving two doses.
Tope said the second wave is subsiding. “We are conducting 1.5 lakh tests every day but cases are not increasing and are sticking around 1,500 positive cases daily. So, the positivity rate is around 1 per cent,” he said. He also said that it’s good news that no new variant or mutation is seen in the virus.
While answering a query on vaccinating children in the age group of 12 and 18 years, Tope said discussions are on with Centre to provide guidelines and vaccines for them.
Lastly, the health minister congratulated Navi Mumbai municipal corporation for completing 100 per cent first dose of citizens.