Maharashtra’s COVID vaccination drive for children in the age group 15-18 years has been below the state health department’s expected target. Only 19 percent or 11.47 lakh of the state’s 60.63 lakh projected beneficiaries have been fully immunised since children above 15 years became eligible for vaccination January 3 onwards.
Of the total eligible population, 34.91 lakh (58 percent) beneficiaries have been given the first dose of Covaxin so far. Only urban areas like Mumbai, Pune and Thane have been able to vaccinate more than one lakh children in this age group.
In Mumbai of the target 6.12 lakh eligible children, only 1.03 lakh or 17 percent have been fully vaccinated while 50 percent have received their first shot. In comparison, Thane district recorded 1.18 lakh fully vaccinated beneficiaries. Pune has 1.01 lakh children fully immunised and 3.31lakh children who received their first shot of the vaccine.
Dissatisfied with the current pace of vaccination, the state administration and health officials are gearing up to carry out special drives to ensure the remaining eligible candidates are vaccinated at the earliest. Though the state government has promoted vaccination drives at schools and colleges, physical attendance continues to remain low leading to the slow pace of vaccination amongst the 15-18 age group beneficiaries.
The state government permitted schools and colleges to reopen January 24 onwards in view of the lower COVID cases during the recent third wave. However, with students permitted to opt for online classes instead of attending physical classes, schools and colleges continue to witness lower attendance. Students opting for in-person learning are expected to submit parent’s consent letters.News, States