COVID-19: UP to inoculate people below 45 only on weekends; complete lockdown mulled

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will take a final decision on whether to extend lockdown in UP after review

By Vivek Mishra
Published: Friday 30 April 2021
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath getting his vaccine shot April 5, 2021. Photo: @myogiadityanath / Twitter
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath getting his vaccine shot April 5, 2021. Photo: @myogiadityanath / Twitter
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath getting his vaccine shot April 5, 2021. Photo: @myogiadityanath / Twitter

The Uttar Pradesh government will start its vaccination programme May 1, 2021 for people in the 18-44 age group. However, it will be limited to a few districts and will be carried out on only two days, officials said.

On May 1, the vaccination will be conducted only in the districts of Varanasi, Prayagraj, Lucknow, Kanpur, Bareilly and Meerut, where the rate of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections is high.

The government is also considering tightening the ongoing lockdown in the state and extending its duration for a further 14 days. This was indicated in a high-level meeting, sources told Down To Earth (DTE). However, no official statement has been released so far.

Senior officials had been advising the government to impose a complete lockdown in order to break the chain of COVID-19 infection. However, the regime was not ready for a complete lockdown. Therefore, on April 29, the lockdown was extended by only one day a week.

The Uttar Pradesh government is avoiding the term ‘lockdown’ this time and is using the term ‘Corona Curfew’.

Additional Chief Information Commissioner Navneet Sehgal told DTE that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will review the situation regarding the lockdown after which, a decision will be taken.

Sehgal also confirmed that those in the 18-44 years age group will be vaccinated only on weekends.

DTE had recently reported that Uttar Pradesh did not have sufficient vaccines for those aged 18-44 years. The state wants to expand its vaccination campaign only through the vaccine quota of the central government for those above 45 years of age.

According to sources, about 750,000 central quota vaccine stocks have been allotted to Uttar Pradesh. Approximately 12,000 doses are left for the daily vaccinations of those above 45 years of age. These were to be used for those aged 18–44 years.

However, it has now become clear that the state government will not use these vaccine doses after the Centre’s letter refusing this.

Officials have also warned the government that vaccinations with such low doses can create disillusionment among people and that the May 1 programme was like a ‘token vaccination’.

The state government has requested for 40 million vaccines under the global tender. It has also requested vaccines from the manufacturers of Covaxin and Covishield to meet its immediate needs.

The companies have not given any clear delivery date to the government. However, it has been said that 2.5 million Covishield and 0.8 million doses will be delivered to the state in May.

This supply will be in addition to the doses delivered by the Government of India. At the same time, the Uttar Pradesh government has requested the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd to deliver some emergency doses by April 30. The number and quantity have not been revealed yet.

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