While suspending on going vaccination programme among above 45 years age group suddenly on Wednesday, Tripura government has announced opening of third phase vaccination of the people belong to 18 to 44 years from tomorrow after receiving the first consignment of 15,150 shots of Covaxin.
The government spokesperson education minister Ratan Lal Nath said that Tripura had sent requisition for four lakh doses to start mass vaccination program among 18 years plus age group. With the small amount of vaccine doses, mass vaccination would not be possible at this moment; hence, the government has made a priority list for third phase vaccination.
He said the first consignment would be administered among rickshaw pullers, auto rickshaw drivers, journalists, staff of High Court of Tripura, employees of power department, employees of Food Corporation of India, Banks and Air Traffic Control from 18-44 year age group across 25 stations. Apart from that around 220 additional doses of Covaxin would be given to the people who have registered during the trial phase of the system.
“We have already announced free vaccination for all but unless supply is ensured the schedule of the vaccine cannot be made. This is not an exceptional case of Tripura, all over the country the schedule of vaccination has been delayed due to inadequate supply from the companies. However, the central government is trying to manage the supply chain in the best possible manner and we want cooperation from the citizens,” Nath stated.
Meanwhile, the health department suddenly suspended the second phase vaccination programme till May 16 next without citing any reason. The sources said that there has been a shortage of second phase vaccines due to mismanagement and improper uses violating the central government guidelines. A large number of ineligible age groups of various influential sections have been given vaccines.
However, the state vaccine officer has declined to make any comment on the issue but claimed that Tripura has so far received 14,68,280 doses for second phase and 14,21,280 doses have already been administered that includes first and second shots. As many as 96.2 percent of healthcare staff, 96.6 percent frontline workers and 79.1 percent senior citizens have got the first dose of vaccine in the state. Among them 83.2 percent healthcare workers, 82.7 percent frontline workers and 49 percent senior citizens have received the second dose too.