Morale of jawans high, anti-Naxal operation to go on: Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel

RAIPUR: The Chhattisgarh government on Friday requested the Centre to give priority to socially and economically weaker sections in vaccination against COVID-19 in the third phase when people in the 18 to 44 age group will be covered from May 1.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said given the vaccine demand-supply mismatch, the Centre should prioritise vaccination and also allow spot registration of beneficiaries so that people not having access to the Co-WIN web portal do not miss out.

In the letter, Baghel said as per the Government of Indias directives, registration of beneficiaries in the age group of 18 to 44 years has started on the Co-WIN portal, the technological backbone of the vaccination drive, from April 28.

Although information about state-wise registration is not available on the portal, as per the information received, around 1.7 crore citizens of this age group have registered themselves on the digital platform so far, he said.

According to the central government’s guidelines, doses for inoculating this age group are to be purchased by states, Baghel said.

In this regard, the Chhattisgarh government had forwarded demand for 25 lakh doses each of Covishield and Covaxin to their manufacturers, he said.

Only Bharat Biotech (which makes Covaxin) responded to the demand, but said it can provide only three lakh doses to the state in the month of May, the chief minister said.

Large number of registrations and less availability of vaccines may cause problems in managing crowds at inoculation centres, he said in the letter to the PM.

Keeping in view the shortage of doses, the Government of India should fix priority groups for the vaccination drive, Baghel said.

“People belonging to socially as well as economically weaker sections should be given priority,” he told Modi.

Baghel said since registration facility is only available online, beneficiaries from vulnerable groups may be deprived of vaccination.

Spot registration should be made available for people in the 18 to 44 age group so that no one is left out of the vaccination drive, he said in the letter to the PM.