Covid: First jab within 45 days for priority groups in Bengal
The Bengal government plans to administer at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine to priority groups, who come in daily contact with many people, within the next 45 days as the state has started receiving vaccines from producers directly, said a source.
The state had sought to buy 3 crore vaccines in phases directly from the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech.
With vaccines starting to arrive, a source said the government has decided to focus on the priority group of hawkers, retailers, transport workers, among others, who are at risk of catching Covid-19 and potential superspreaders too. A database of such people is to be prepared in the next three days. Then, based on the database, the first dose of vaccine will be given to them within 45 days, said a source.
“Vaccination for these people will be done under the guidance of different departments,” said an official.
Officials said that the state prepared the plan after it started receiving vaccines against its proposal to buy 3 crore vaccines from the two manufacturers.
“We had deposited a sum of Rs 60 crore to buy 18 lakh doses of vaccines in May. We have received 11 lakh vaccines and we have been assured that the remaining 7 lakh doses would reach the state by the end of this month. We will buy 12 lakh vaccine doses in June,” said a senior health department official.
Sources also said that the vaccines the state is buying would be administered to the potential superspreaders right at this moment.
Districts have been asked to prepare the database of potential superspreaders within the next three days, a source said. “As soon as the database is ready, we will start vaccination of the priority group. It is expected that within the next 15 days, we can start vaccinating the priority group and complete giving at least one dose to them within the next 45 days,” said an official.
Jabs for common people aged over 45 years will continue with vaccine doses from the Centre.
“When enough vaccines are made available to the state by manufacturers, the state will start vaccination for the age group of 18 to 44 years,” said an official.