In a significant milestone, Maharashtra has become the first state to administer a total of three crore coronavirus vaccines on Friday. The achievement comes in the wake of the major push given to the vaccination drive by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray led-Maha Vikas Aghadi government, especially intended to prevent the looming threat of the spread of the Delta Plus variant of coronavirus.
The state government said it can cover the entire eligible population within the next three months if the supply by the Centre kept up. Availability of vaccine doses was no longer an issue, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said at `Digital Dialogue' - an event organized by his party, the NCP.
“Vaccine availability is not an issue now. We have administered over three crore doses so far, and with increased pace, Maharashtra can vaccinate its entire eligible population in the next three months,” he said.
“Maharashtra has the capacity to administer 10 lakh doses per day. If the Union government increases its supply to match the state's capacity, we can vaccinate the entire population in three months,” he said.
As of Friday afternoon, Maharashtra had administered 3,00,27,217 vaccine doses.
Tope also said he has requested Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar to increase the budgetary allocation for the health department.
“The NITI Aayog has recommended an expenditure of five per cent of the GDP for the health sector. In reality, it is only 0.9 to 1 per cent. I have asked the government to increase the allocation so that more infrastructure can be developed,” he said.
There is scope to increase the number of primary healthcare centres, rural hospitals and sub-centres, the minister said, adding that the state health department was going to fill all 17,000 sanctioned posts soon.
(With PTI Inputs)