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COVID vaccine for 18+ to start on May 1 to mark Maharashtra Day: Health Minister Rajesh Tope

Mumbai: Despite having limited COVID vaccine stocks, the Maharashtra government is set to begin the next phase of vaccination drive in the state on May 1 in which people above the age of 18 years will be inoculated.

The intent behind the move is to mark Maharashtra Day which falls on the same day.

“Maharashtra CM (Uddhav Thackeray) believes that vaccination must start vaccination from May 1, when Maharashtra Day is celebrated,” state Health Minister Rajesh Tope was quoted as saying by ANI.

“So just for the inauguration, we will start a nominal vaccination drive on that day,” he added.

On Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan’s statement that vaccines are being allocated as per the performance of states in vaccination, Tope said that Maharashtra is “Number 1” in terms of vaccination and has a capacity to inoculate 13 lakh people a day.

“We’ve vaccinated over 5 lakh people in a day and have capacity to vaccinate 13 lakh people in a day. We’re number one in vaccination,” Tope said.

According to the state government, as many as 13,04,828 frontline workers have received the vaccine so far, of whom 4,83,444 have got the second dose.

At least 1,09,64,761 people above the age of 45 have received their first dose of vaccine, while 14,04,673 have taken the second jab.

In an encouraging sign, the COVID-19 test positivity rate in Mumbai has dropped below 10 per cent, municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said.

According to Chahal, Mumbai’s positivity rate was 9.94 per cent on April 29, when 4,328 people tested positive for COVID-19 out of 43,525 whose samples were examined.