Kolkata: West Bengal will stop vaccination for the 18+ years age group and only inoculate “priority groups” from Monday (June 21).
The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has cited a lack of supply of vaccine doses to carry out universal vaccination. Notably, the priority groups include healthcare workers, bus conductors among others. People in the 18+ age group will only get vaccinated from Monday (June 21) only if they are in the “priority groups”.
“There aren’t enough vaccines for all in the 18+ years age group,” an official told a leading news channel. The decision not to vaccinate universally is to also avoid overcrowding at government hospitals, the official added.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier alleged that the Modi government was not following the spirit of federalism as she wondered why the Centre kept to itself the right of distribution of 25 per cent Covid-19 vaccines to private hospitals and not to the states.
Prior to that, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the Centre will buy 75 per cent of jabs from vaccine makers for free supply to states, while private sector hospitals will continue to procure the remaining 25 per cent.
West Bengal’s COVID-19 tally rose to 14,79, 523 on Saturday as 2,486 more people tested positive for the infection, while 55 fresh fatalities pushed the state’s coronavirus death toll to 17,295. As many as 2,109 more people were cured of the disease, taking the recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in the state to 97.28 per cent. Meanwhile, 2,74,004 people were inoculated in the state on Saturday.
(Inputs from agency)
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