Maharashtra Vaccine News

Doorstep vax drive covers 3.14 lakh in 12-18 age group
Times of India | 4 days ago
Times of India
4 days ago

Pune: A total of 3.14 lakh adolescents in the 12-18 age group have been given a Covid shot (of either Covaxin or Corbevax) as part of the central government's Har Ghar Dastak campaign that started in Maharashtra on June 1. The drive will go on till July-end.The state has an estimated one crore citizens in the 12-18 age group. Of them, a total 38.34 lakh have not yet received a single dose of a Covid vaccine. But the coverage is showing signs of improvement.“Every day in the state, around 15,000 adolescents (12-18 years) are receiving a Covid shot at their doorstep,” state immunisation officer Dr Sachin Desai said. Of the 3.14 lakh adolescents who got a Covid shot in the last 22 days, 1.41 lakh were those who were given the first dose and 1.73 lakh were those given the second dose.As many as 12,904 medical teams have been pressed into service to carry out the doorstep vaccination campaign in Maharashtra.Each team has four members, including vaccinators.Dr Desai said, “In the last 20 days, we have been giving about 1 lakh doses in the state every day. This includes doses being administered at vaccination centres and as part of the doorstep drive.”He added that the percentage of Har Ghar Dastak vaccinations is almost 60% of the day's overall one lakh doses in the state. “The doorstep vaccination programme not only provides shots to those in 12-18 years but also covers those in the 18-59 age group. Additionally, the drive provides Covid booster shots to those over 60 years of age,” he said.

Doorstep vax drive covers 3.14 lakh in 12-18 age group
As Covid cases rise, 76% increase in demand for booster dose in 15 days
The Indian Express | 5 days ago
The Indian Express
5 days ago

Amid the apprehension of a possible fourth wave of Covid-19, there has been a 76 per cent increase in the number of precautionary or booster doses being administered in the 18-59 age group in 15 days of June across Maharashtra.Official figures show that between June 6 and June 20, 2,37,814 people in the 18-59 age group had taken booster shots, pushing up the administration of third shots to 5,50,006 from 3,12,192 in 15 days.During this period, the state also witnessed a surge of 15 per cent in the demand of booster doses for senior citizens. On June 6, 16,85,955 beneficiaries took the booster and within 15 days, the figure surged to 19,36,535.This sudden demand for boosters coincided with a six-fold rise in daily Covid-19 cases across Maharashtra. “…Amid the blip or you can say a surge in cases, the demand for boosters has naturally gone up, especially among the elderly and with comorbidities,” said Dr Vasant Nagvekar, co-director, Infectious Diseases, Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital.The state has been pushing to increase vaccination coverage among the elderly through the Har Ghar Dastak 2.0 campaign that began earlier this month.“Despite the arrival of monsoon, our health workers are trying to reach far-off corners in the districts to vaccinate people with the third dose. With the flattening of the pandemic curve, the villagers were hesitant earlier but now, they are showing eagerness to get the booster dose,” said Dr Govind Chaudhari, district health officer of Nandurbar, which has the lowest vaccine coverage rate in the state.However, there are still around 1.37 crore people who haven’t taken their scheduled second jab in the state. Pune tops the chart with 13 lakh such beneficiaries, followed by Thane (9.28 lakh) and Mumbai (8.95 lakh).“Many people have still not taken their booster shots, which is why we need to get the message across that vaccines can save lives. There is enough data to prove that vaccines are one of the most important strategies to prevent severe illness and mortality. We need to understand their importance and convince people to take precautionary doses so that the virus can be controlled,” said Dr Rahul Pandit, a member of the Covid-19 task force.Doctors have observed that though vaccination doesn’t provide protection against infection but it does help in containing the severity, lowering the mortality rate.

As Covid cases rise, 76% increase in demand for booster dose in 15 days
Sputnik Light booster safe, say trial investigators
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

Pune: Trial investigators, undertaking Phase 3 trials on immunogenicity and safety of Sputnik Light vaccine precaution dose in those who have received two doses of Covishield or Covaxin, on Monday said most volunteers did not experience any side effects after the booster shots.The study participants were adult beneficiaries who were fully vaccinated against Covid with either Covaxin or Covishield and had received the last dose of primary vaccination six-seven months prior to screening for the trial.A trial investigator from a Pune-based hospital told TOI, “We recruited an equal number of Covaxin and Covishield volunteers. No major side effects were reported by the volunteers. There were only some minor effects such as pain in the injection site. We didn’t see other minor side effects such as fever and swelling on the site in most volunteers who received the booster.”Dr Anil Kumar Pandey, trial investigator from Faridabad’s ESIC Medical College and Hospital, told TOI, “We had recruited 75 volunteers at our site and did not come across any major or minor side effects, though fever, pain at the local site and inflammation are quite common in any vaccine trial. During the telephonic follow-ups with the participants, none reported any adverse effects of the heterologous booster regime.” ESIC Medical College and Hospital site has so far been part of several vaccine trials, including one on the heterologous Corbevax booster and another on the intranasal vaccine by Bharat Biotech The trial investigator at a site in Kolkata said, “Minor side effects included pain at injection site and mild fever lasting a day. No patient needed admission after dosing.” As per Clinical Trials Registry, India (CTRI), nearly 590 volunteers enrolled for the trial at eight sites in India. Four of the sites are in Maharashtra.

Sputnik Light booster safe, say trial investigators
Govt’s free Corbevax drive to include private schools too
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

Pune: Free Corbevax shots will also be offered to eligible students (12-14 age group) studying in private schools, besides government or civic-run institutes, during the vaccination drive, state immunisation officer Dr Sachin Desai said on Monday.“Private schools only need to contact the local health authority for holding the vaccination drive on school campuses. The consent letter from parents is not required. The school only needs to have a confirmed pool of students ready to take the shot so that adequate arrangements can be made,” he said.Dr Sanjay Patil, chairman of Indian Medical Association’s Hospital Board of India (HBI), said, “The Corbevax is being administered at Rs 400 per shot at handful of private centres in the state. Parents should let their children avail the benefit of free vaccination drive as it is the safest vaccine available.”Dr Suryakant Devkar, Pune city’s chief immunisation officer, said, “We plan to vaccinate 11,800 students in 12-14 age bracket at 76 schools (civic as well as private) from June 24.”Two months into the Corbevax drive for the 12-14 age group, the state has recorded 58% first dose coverage of the target population. The second dose coverage is at 27%.Nashik, Sangli and Ahmednagar currently lead in Corbevax coverage, while Pune and Mumbai numbers are below the state average. Response has also been poor in Mumbai. Pune, Thane and Nagpur. “We were unable to hold special camps in schools as they were shut. We are hoping numbers to pick up as most schools have reopened,” Dr Desai said. Low coverage has also increased Corbevax wastage in Maharashtra.

Govt’s free Corbevax drive to include private schools too
BA.2.38-caused illness mild, hints at endemicity of SARS-CoV-2: Study
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

PUNE: Omicron sub-variant BA.2's offspring, BA.2.38, may be causing a spike in Maharashtra and other parts of India, but the illness it is causing is self-limiting and almost comparable with common cold-like illness indicating SARS-CoV-2's journey towards endemicity, reveals the first-of-its-kind clinical study of 116 patients found infected with BA.2.38 in the country. Doctors attached with Pune-based B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, a state-run tertiary care referral unit, carried out the study and assessed the symptoms and illness pattern of BA.2.38 infected patients this month. The fact that the share of infection caused by BA.2.38 is rising is known. But what it actually means in terms of its disease causing potential has been assessed for the first time in India.The study found it is only causing mild disease,” said a senior scientist from Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG). Dr Rajesh Karyakarte, lead investigator of the study, said, “Those infected with it had fever, cough, bodyache, sore throat and headache — mainly upper respiratory tract symptoms mimicking common cold-like illness. A few also had diarrhoea.” Infectious disease specialist Dr Bharat Purandare said, “BA.2.38 is causing mild illness. The self-limited nature of illness in most cases is indicative of the endemicity of SARS-CoV-2.” Dr Sanjay Pujari, a member of the ICMR's national Covid task force, said, “This is an interesting descriptive study of the early epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of patients infected with the BA2.38 variant. However, the interpretation is limited by small sample-size and no comparison with other circulating major variants; making it difficult to conclude on whether BA2.38 behaves differently as compared to other circulating variants.” The clinical features and frequency of symptoms among those with mild illness with BA2.38 are quite similar to BA2 and BA1 variants. “It’s not surprising that among these patients, the majority had breakthrough infections after two doses of the vaccine. This reflects that most of our population has been vaccinated with two doses,” he said.

BA.2.38-caused illness mild, hints at endemicity of SARS-CoV-2: Study
Explained: Making sense of Covid spike
The Indian Express | 1 week ago
The Indian Express
1 week ago

COVID-19 has spiralled in Maharashtra once again, with the positivity rate hovering around 10%. As of June 19, active cases stood at 23,746, a 15-fold spike from May 16, when the count was just 1,526. Cases have also been jumping in most metros.A number of previously infected people are again contracting Covid-19. Is there any evidence that antibodies from previous infections are waning?It is well-known that viruses always try to mutate and produce new lineages or sub-lineages to escape acquired immunity. There is no precise data available about the sub-lineages of Omicron, but the immunity conferred by Omicron is lower than that provided other variants like Delta. Therefore, reinfection has become common. It is a well-established fact that antibodies do not mean that a person will not get infected, but they will experience milder symptoms. So, it is quite evident that having a higher number of antibodies does not necessarily mean one can quickly overcome any new infection.People who have taken two vaccines doses too are getting infected. Is the efficiency of vaccine reducing?Vaccines will confer sterilising immunity on everyone. They provide us immunity against severe diseases and mortality. These are generation one vaccines made from the ancestral strain. Besides, it has never been claimed that vaccinated people will never get infected. Also, if one gets infected, the chances are that they will be asymptomatic or have minor symptoms.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxSome patients are complaining of high fever, touching almost 105°F. Are there any symptomatic differences between the new bout and earlier ones?I don’t think many patients have reported 105° fever, and it might have been a rare aberration. We haven’t observed such a high fever in patients although some of them had high-grade fever of 101-102°F with some throat pain. Most patients get better within four to five days and do not require hospitalisation.Some other symptoms that patients are currently experiencing include tiredness, body ache, runny nose and mild cough. Apart from that, some gastro-intestinal symptoms are also being observed, like diarrhoea and a tender stomach.Why are some patients are experiencing gastro-intestinal issues after recovery?Most patients in their post-recovery phase are experiencing significant symptoms like fatigue, sleep disturbance and inability to concentrate. They also have specific body aches and pain, especially joint pains. Some of them even have resting tachycardia, or Inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST).While gastro-intestinal (GI) symptoms are not a part of the post-viral condition itself, they could be part of viral illness. This may be because the virus can cause GI disease that could last longer even after the person has recovered from other symptoms. Further, loss of appetite and change in bowel habits are some of the symptoms that have been associated with Covid-19.What are the reasons behind the surge in Maharashtra?The main reason behind the surge is that the virus follows a pattern of resurgence and retreat. Also, for the last several months, people are not following the necessary precautions to avoid transmission. It is due to this Covid-inappropriate behaviour that the virus is still in circulation. Hence, we are seeing a rise in the number of cases in a few districts and cities across Maharashtra.Are we heading towards a fourth wave? If yes, will this be more infectious?The fact is that the cases are rising rapidly and there is no evidence to suggest that the situation is different in terms of infectivity and severity as compared to the third wave. However, there is a similar pattern that has been observed currently.Should the Maharashtra government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation focus more on testing?Testing has been one of the main strategies to control the disease, and we need to evolve and develop an intelligent strategy. Smart testing means that we should study more symptomatic patients and all their high-risk contacts. We ought to increase the capacity of testing so that we can isolate the infected and avoid any further spread of the infection.Maharashtra is behind other states in vaccine coverage. What steps should the state take?Maharashtra is one of the largest states in India with a population of over 12 crore. Also, the population density is very high. When the number of cases goes down, many people stop following Covid-19 protocols. So, they are equally lax about not taking their booster shots. That’s why we need to go back to information, education and communication and get the message across that vaccines can save lives. There is enough data to prove that vaccines are one of the most important strategies to prevent severe illness and mortality. We need to understand their importance and convince people to take their precautionary doses so that the virus can be controlled.Are we heading towards an endemic situation?Eventually, we will head towards an endemic situation. Whether we have reached that stage or not right now, it is too early to say as Covid-19 is here to stay with us for some time. That is why we must learn to live with the virus and not let it disrupt our daily lives. We need to work towards keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe by following Covid-appropriate behaviour. Masking up should become a regular healthy habit that we must practise every day.—Dr Pandit spoke to Rinku Ghosh

Explained: Making sense of Covid spike
  • Present Covid surge a ripple, not a wave, say IIT-Kanpur experts
  • Times of India

    LUCKNOW: Even as fresh and active cases have doubled in Uttar Pradesh in the past week, experts at IIT Kanpur monitoring the Covid-19 situation through their mathematical models stated that there was no reason to panic unless new variants come into play. The number of cases and deaths have also gone up nationally over the past two weeks. “The rise in cases is primarily because of decline in the natural immunity against the pandemic. There may be re-infections but there is no need to worry. Prevention, however, is advised for all,” said IIT-K's Prof Manindra Agarwal, who has been predicting the pandemic behaviour through his SUTRA (Susceptible, Undetected, Tested (positive), and Removed Approach) mathematical model. He said that the present surge should not even be called a wave. “It is better to call the recent rise as a ripple rather than a wave. Also, eventually, coronavirus will become a common flu,” he said. Talking about the surge of cases in Maharashtra and Kerala, Prof Agarwal said: “The two states may peak in the third week of July but the surge will not be alarming as the rate of hospitalisation remains extremely low.” Rajeh Ranjan, the IIT-K assistant professor who devised the SIR (Susceptible-Infected-Recovered) model to decode the coronavirus activity, said that Omicron and its subtypes were causing the disease these days. Predicting that the present wave will be smaller than the third wave, he said: “There was no reason to panic unless a new variant surfaces.” Stressing the need for prevention despite the general immunity against the coronavirus created by vaccination and exposure, Ranjan suggested that health authorities should intensify genome sequencing in a random fashion and in new cities. “The virus is nasty and may change its form the moment it gets a favourable environment. Strong vigilance through randomised genome sequencing in new pockets can give better insight into the virus activity,” he said.

Maharashtra: Corbevax wastage high, hopes rest on special drives
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

PUNE: Corbevax wastage continues to be high across the state with some districts registering wastage levels as high as 29%. The vaccine is currently being given to the 12-14 age group. Data till June 16 showed Corbevax net wastage was at 11.35% in the state, compared to just 2.9% for Covaxin and 0.14% for Covishield. The state's average wastage for all three continues to be 4.8%. State immunisation officer Dr Sachin Desai said Corbevax wastage will continue to remain high in the state unless special vaccination drives are held for children in the 12-14 age group. “Now that schools have reopened, we are hoping to hold more vaccination drives,” he said. The 20-dose Corbevax vial has to be used up within six hours of opening. Maharashtra had requested the Centre to make it a 10-dose vial, but there has been no response, state officials said. “The process is cumbersome and won't happen easily,” one state official said. Covaxin too used to come in a 20-dose vial, but was later made smaller — into five- and 10-dose vials — to prevent wastage. In Maharashtra, only 58.29% of the 39 lakh eligible children in this age group have so far taken the first shot of Corbevax. An estimated 29% have taken both shots. Districts with the highest Corbevax first-dose coverage are Nashik (86.26%), Sangli (83.89%), Ahmednagar (83.45%), Bhandara (80.83%) and Kolhapur is 80.7%. Both Mumbai (30.60%) and Pune (53%) are below the state average. “Close-to-school vaccine camps may now improve turnout,” one official said.

Maharashtra: Corbevax wastage high, hopes rest on special drives
Maharashtra: Yavatmal GMC doctors refuse vaccine, send back senior citizens
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

YAVATMAL: Doctors at Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College allegedly sent back senior citizens who had turned up for vaccination. “Come with 11 eligible persons to get vaccinated,” doctors told senior citizens. Meanwhile, touts, taking advantage of the situation, were whisking away people to private hospitals for vaccination. TOI received a number of complaints from senior citizens. They alleged that not once or twice at times even thrice they were sent back without vaccination. One Govind Patil’s third attempt to get vaccinated proved futile. The display board at the centre states free vaccine to senior citizens and health workers but just the opposite happened, it was alleged. “I tried to contact Dr Gautam Khakse, HoD of community medicines, but his phone was switched off. I contacted Dr Baba Elke, HoD of medicine, who asked me to reach the centre at 1pm. I reached the centre at 12.30pm. The in-charge lady doctor asked me to come with 11 members. I again contacted Dr Elke who said that he would instruct the doctors at the centre. When there was no response, I tried to contact the dean who did not pay any heed. District collector Amol Yedge too did not take the call. I then contacted the RDC Lalitkumar Warhade who promised to do the needful. I waited but exactly at 1pm, the nurse closed the door and all of them left,” alleged Patil. As there is no other centre for senior citizens, they have to depend on the GMC.

Maharashtra: Yavatmal GMC doctors refuse vaccine, send back senior citizens
Mumbai: Slight drop in new infections but weekly growth rate rises
The Indian Express | 1 week ago
The Indian Express
1 week ago

There has been a marginal drop in daily Covid cases in Mumbai in the last 24 hours with 2,255 new cases being recorded on Friday as against 2,366 cases reported on Thursday. Besides, two Covid deaths were reported on Friday, taking the total fatalities to 19,580 fatalities. Meanwhile, the weekly growth rate has increased to 0.170 per cent.As per the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), out of the two Covid-19 casualties reported in Mumbai, one was of an 86-year-old man with comorbidities such as hypertension and heart condition. The other deceased was a 57-year-old woman with Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and lung cancer.Of the newly detected Covid patients, 110 had to be hospitalised.Mumbai’s test positivity rate (TPR)—the number of positive cases out of the total tests conducted — stood at 15.39 per cent with 14,643 tests.On Friday, Maharashtra reported 4,165 new infections, which pushed up the active cases beyond the 20,000-mark in the state.Dr Ishwar Gilada, consultant in infectious diseases, said that a few pockets of India are witnessing the surge in cases due to waning immunity — both natural immunity due to past infection or due to vaccine. “It can be an immune escape as newer variants and sub-variants are known for immune escape. Besides, higher gap between the second and third dose and lack of clarity in policy for free third dose to below-60 population are the major contributing factor behind the spike,” he said. 

Mumbai: Slight drop in new infections but weekly growth rate rises
‘Immunity conferred by Omicron is lower than Delta’
The Indian Express | 1 week ago
The Indian Express
1 week ago

Once again, Covid-19 has spiralled in Maharashtra with the positivity rate hovering around 10 per cent. As of June 16, active cases stood at 20,634, a 13-fold spike from May 16, when the total number was just 1,526. Not only that, cases are jumping with alarming speed in most metros.Q) A lot of previously infected patients are again contracting Covid-19. There are claims that the protection acquired against other variants is ineffective against the new ones. Is there any initial evidence that antibodies from previous infections are waning?It is well-known that viruses always try to mutate and produce new lineages or sub-lineages to escape acquired immunity. There is no precise data available about the sub-lineages of Omicron, but the immunity conferred by Omicron is lower than other variants like Delta. Therefore, reinfection has become common. It is a well-established fact that antibodies do not mean that a person will not get infected, but they will experience mild symptoms. So, it is quite evident that having a higher number of antibodies does not necessarily mean one can quickly overcome any new infection.Q) People with two doses of vaccines are also getting infected. Is it because the efficiency of the vaccine is reducing with time?Vaccines will confer sterilising immunity on everyone. They provide us immunity against severe diseases and mortality. These are generation one vaccines made from the ancestral strain. Besides, it has never been claimed that vaccinated people will never get infected. Also, if one gets infected, the chances are that they will be asymptomatic or have minor symptoms.Q) Some patients are complaining of high fever, almost touching 105 degree Fahrenheit. Are there any symptomatic differences being observed in the recent bout compared to the past? What are the key symptoms to watch out for?I don’t think many patients have reported 105 degree fever (Fahrenheit), and it might have been a rare aberration. We haven’t observed such a high fever in patients although some of them had a high-grade fever of 101-102 degree Fahrenheit with some throat pain. Most patients get better within four to five days and do not require hospitalisation.Some other symptoms that patients are currently experiencing include tiredness, body ache, runny nose and mild cough. Apart from that, some gastro-intestinal symptoms are also being observed, like diarrhoea and a tender stomach.Q) Some doctors have observed that patients are experiencing gastro-intestinal issues post-recovery. How do you explain this?Most patients in their post-recovery phase are experiencing significant symptoms like fatigue, sleep disturbance and inability to concentrate. They also have specific body aches and pain, especially joint pains. Some of them even have Resting Tachycardia, which is called Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia (IST). While gastro-intestinal (GI) symptoms are not a part of the post-viral condition itself, they could be part of viral illness. This may be because the virus can cause GI disease that could last longer even after the person has recovered from other symptoms. Further, loss of appetite and change in bowel habits are some of the symptoms that have been associated with Covid-19.Q) Over the last 15 days, the number of Covid-19 cases has surged drastically in Maharashtra, especially in cities like Mumbai, Thane and Pune. What are the main reasons behind the surge?The main reason behind the surge is that the virus follows a pattern of resurgence and retreat. Also, for the last several months, people are not following the necessary precaution to avoid transmission. It is due to this Covid-inappropriate behaviour that the virus is still in circulation. Hence, we are seeing a rise in the number of cases in a few districts and cities across Maharashtra.Q) Are we heading towards a fourth wave? If yes, will this be more infectious than the previous ones?The fact is that the cases are rising rapidly and there is no evidence to suggest that the situation is different in terms of infectivity and severity as compared to the third wave. However, there is a similar pattern that has been observed currently.Q) Last December — before the third wave commenced — the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation conducted over 35,000 daily tests, which has now dropped to below 10,000. Should the state and the civic body focus more on testing?Testing has been one of the main strategies to control the disease, and we need to evolve and develop an intelligent strategy. Smart testing means that we should study more symptomatic patients and all their high-risk contacts. We ought to increase the capacity of testing so that we can isolate the infected and avoid any further spread of the infection.Q) Maharashtra is lagging far behind in vaccine coverage compared to other states. The response to booster doses is also lukewarm. What steps should the state take to close the gap?Maharashtra is one of the biggest states in India with a population of over 12 crore. Also, the population density is very high. When the number of cases goes down, many people stop following Covid-19 protocols. So, they are equally lax about not taking their booster shots. That’s why we need to go back to information, education and communication and get the message across that vaccines can save lives. There is enough data to prove that vaccines are one of the most important strategies to prevent severe illness and mortality. We need to understand their importance and convince people to take their precautionary doses so that the virus can be controlled.Q) Are we heading towards an endemic? What does the future hold for us?Eventually, we will head towards an endemic situation. Whether we have reached that stage or not right now is too early to say as COVID-19 is here to stay with us for some time. That is why we must learn to live with the virus and not let it disrupt our daily lives. We need to work towards keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe by following Covid-appropriate behaviour. Masking up should become a regular healthy habit that we must practise every day.

‘Immunity conferred by Omicron is lower than Delta’
Rise in booster dose numbers as cases spike across country
The Indian Express | 1 week ago
The Indian Express
1 week ago

WITH A fresh surge in Covid cases across the country, there was a 44.3 per cent increase in the number of “precautionary” or booster doses administered during the past week as compared to the week before.Official figures show that around 47.5 lakh third doses were administered in the first 15 days of June compared with 41.5 lakh during the last 15 days of May. The country reported 12,213 new Covid cases on Thursday against 7,240 cases last Thursday — hospitalisations and deaths have continued to remain low.The data also show that five metros saw an average 77.9 per cent increase in the number of booster doses administered during the past week, driven mainly by a 212.5 per cent increase in Chennai, according to an analysis of data on the CoWIN portal.The spike comes at a time when the Government is pushing to cover the elderly population through the Har Ghar Dastak campaign 2.0 that started this month. It is also looking to increase the coverage of the first two doses among children between the ages of 12 and 17 years.A big chunk of the rise in booster doses for adults under the age of 60 years is likely to be recorded in metros and urban centres with a high number of private medical facilities. The Government’s free vaccination drive for booster doses covers only those above 60 years, and healthcare and frontline workers.According to the data, a Covid surge in Mumbai has coincided with a consistent increase in precaution dose coverage over the last two weeks during the door-to-door campaign. There was a 31 per cent increase in the number of booster shots administered this week than the past week.Bengaluru also saw a week-on-week increase during June — a 6.8 per cent increase during the first seven days of June over the previous week and 49.2 per cent rise during the second week.Buy Now | Our best subscription plan now has a special priceDelhi and Kolkata recorded fluctuations in the booster numbers of June. Delhi saw a 5.9 per cent decline in the first week of June followed by a 32.4 per cent increase. Kolkata saw a decline of 9.7 per cent in the first week of June followed by a 64.3 per cent increase, as per CoWIN data.The data show a 41.8 per cent increase in cumulative vaccine doses across the country during the past week, which is less than the increase seen for booster doses.Among the metros, the rate of increase in booster doses was higher than for the total number of doses in Delhi and Kolkata — the capital saw a 15.8 per cent in total number of doses and Kolkata a 55.01 per cent increase.

Rise in booster dose numbers as cases spike across country
Mumbai sees 1st BA.4, BA.5 cases, among highest growth districts
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

MUMBAI: Four cases of the two newest subvariants of Omicron-BA.4 and BA.5- were confirmed in the city for the first time on Monday. Civic officials said the three patients of BA.4 and one of BA.5 have recovered after being in home isolation. Maharashtra now has 13 confirmed cases of these variants, which are gradually rising in prevalence worldwide but have not been associated with severe disease and hospitalisations yet. The revelation of the new subvariants came on a day Mumbai city and Mumbai suburban featured among the dozen districts in the country with the highest growth in new Covid-19 cases and weekly positivity rate. Data from the Centre showed Mumbai suburban recorded a weekly positivity rate (WPR) of 15.6% in the week ended June 11 and the island city 10. 3%. Both registered a near 1.7X and 1.1X growth in WPR. Thane and Pune, with a 3.2X and 2.2X growth rate in new cases, were the other two concerning districts from Maharashtra. The state came right after Kerala, which has six districts with soaring indicators, including Ernakulam (17.8%), Kottayam (17.4%) and Kozhikode (15.9%)-the highest WPRs in the country. Bengaluru urban from Karnataka and Gurugram from Haryana are among the 12 districts showing rising trends. In terms of active cases, though, Maharashtra at 34% is currently the highest contributor, followed by Kerala with 32%. The Centre has directed Maharashtra to strengthen genomic sequencing, and Mumbai and Pune to increase sewage sampling. The new subvariants alone are not causing a surge anywhere in the country still, according to Dr Sujeet Singh, director, National Centre for Disease Control. He said a combination of factors, including human susceptibility, the virus, environmental factors and Covid-appropriate behaviour are playing a role. "The Indian population is at various stages of immunity depending on when they have taken the vaccine or got the latest infection, and therefore remain susceptible to reinfection," he said, adding cases never go down to zero in case of respiratory infections. Omicron remains the most dominant in India, he said. Omicron's dominance was underlined by Mumbai's latest 12th genome sequencing study at Kasturba Hospital, which found it in 99.5% of the 279 samples and only one was Delta. The civic body said all four new variant cases were detected between May 14 and 24. Out of the three patients of BA.4, none was vaccinated. Two were 11-year-old girls who were not eligible for vaccination and the third didn't take a vaccine due to allergy. The patient who was infected with BA.5 has taken both jabs. Dr Mangala Gomare, BMC's executive health officer, said all recovered without hospitalisation. She, though, said the new variants could be circulating in the community as none of the affected had a travel history even within the state. "Our observation is most people have mild disease," she said, adding of nearly 478 admitted, 30 are on oxygen and six ventilator. There was a slight drop in hospitalisation (72), although there has been a rise in bed demand, for instance, at St George's Hospital.

Mumbai sees 1st BA.4, BA.5 cases, among highest growth districts
Daily Briefing: The 2022 Rajya Sabha Election results; what’s behind India’s poor Environmental Performance Index rating?
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago

It’s Saturday!Get your weekend started with the top 5 stories from today’s edition: The 2022 Rajya Sabha Elections results; protests break out across the country over Nupur Sharma’s comments; weekend web series recommendations; what’s behind India’s Environmental Performance Index rating? and more.1) Voting for 16 vacant seats in Rajya Sabha in four states — Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka and Maharashtra — concluded at 4 pm on Friday. The high-stakes battle turned out to be a nail-biting affair with the Congress and BJP trading charges, even approaching the Election Commission. Here’s what happened:🔴In Karnataka, BJP candidates Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, actor-politician Jaggesh and MLC Lehar Singh Siroya won three RS seats for the party, Jairam Ramesh clinched one for Congress while JD(S) drew blank. 🔴The Congress hit a home run in Rajasthan, bagging three seats while the BJP won the remaining one. 🔴The BJP’s Krishan Lal Panwar and Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma, backed by the saffron party and its ally JJP, have won the two Rajya Sabha seats from Haryana, officials said early Saturday🔴In a major setback for the Uddhav Thackeray led government in Maharashtra, the BJP and ruling MVA alliance won three seats each. 🔴Counting delays: The counting of votes in Maharashtra and Haryana was delayed with rival parties trading charges.2) One person was killed, curfews were imposed, internet services were suspended and hundreds were arrested as protests broke out across the country against derogatory references to the Prophet made by former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.While demonstrations in Delhi and parts of Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Bihar and Maharashtra remained peaceful, protests turned violent in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj and West Bengal’s Howrah. A 15-minute demonstration was held at Jama Masjid in New Delhi, where hundreds gathered after Friday namaz before being dispersed by the police. In Jharkhand’s Ranchi, after a protest march turned violent, the police resorted to firing in the air to disperse the crowd. One person died of a bullet injury, while a few other police personnel and protestors were injured. Police sources said the situation escalated after a vehicle ploughed into a group of protesters. Police are also investigating how the bullet injury was caused, the sources said.The West Bengal government temporarily suspended internet services in the rural parts of Howrah district to rein in the unrest which continued in some pockets of the district for the second consecutive day. The protestors clashed with the police and set kiosks and vehicles on fire.Meanwhile, the UP Police said that a total of 136 people were arrested over the protests, including 45 in Saharanpur, 37 in Prayagraj, 23 in Ambedkarnagar, 20 in Hathras, seven in Moradabad and four in Firozabad.3) In our opinion section today, ICSSR Senior Fellow in Diaspora Studies, KM Seethi, explains why India must do everything it can to protect its ties with nations in the Islamic world. He writes: “Even as the South Block’s engagements with the Muslim countries continue — with damage-control exercises at different levels — there are countermoves to browbeat the Islamic world. Obviously, the ruling party is aware of the implications of this move for the upcoming elections in some states, besides the 2024 general elections. Hence, the party is likely to follow a carrot and stick policy on crucial political issues.”4) India doesn’t seem to be faring well as far as environmental health is concerned, according to the recently-released Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2022, measured by Yale and Columbia universities, which ranked the country at the bottom position among 180 countries. The Environment Ministry has issued a rebuttal saying the indicators used in the assessment are based on “unfounded assumptions”.What is the index? How poor is the EPI assessment of India? What objections has India raised? We explain. 5) 📺  What to watch this weekendThis week, Shubhra Gupta reviews the Sonali Bendre and Jaideep Ahlawat starrer ‘The Broken News’: “Just in case the web series is deemed ‘too real’, lots of highly-dramatised elements are bunged in, which keep the series sliding into filmi territory. ‘The Broken News’ comes off more like a crime thriller than what it promises at the outset – an exploration of how TV news is shaping everyday discourse in the country, and how news is not just broken on TV, news TV itself is broken.”The Express Saturday QuizThe agriculture ministry on Thursday unveiled India’s first Covid-19 vaccine for animals. An inactivated vaccine developed using an infectious part of the Delta variant, it can be used in dogs, lions, leopards, mice, and rabbits. What is the vaccine called? (🤫 Pssst… the answer is in today’s edition of The Indian Express. Get it here)Until next time,  Rahel Philipose  

Daily Briefing: The 2022 Rajya Sabha Election results; what’s behind India’s poor Environmental Performance Index rating?
Spike in Covid cases: ‘Mask up, don’t delay your booster dose or drop guard’
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago

Dr G C Khilnani, chairman of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at Delhi’s PSRI Hospital, says the latest Covid-19 spiral is being caused by more infectious sub-variants. But hybrid immunity and precaution vaccines can neutralise the severity of the disease even as you get repeat infections, he tells Anonna Dutt.Why Dr G C Khilnani? Dr G C Khilnani is currently the chairman of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at PSRI Hospital in Delhi. He is the former head of the department of pulmonology and sleep medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and has been practising for over 40 years. He was part of the expert panel initially constituted by the Delhi government when the pandemic began. He is also a part of several professional bodies and editorial boards of journals.****Incidence of Covid-19 has been spiralling in the country over the last two weeks with the Centre writing to states and urging them not to let their guard down. The states have been asked to increase testing, enhance monitoring of influenza-like illnesses and severe acute respiratory infections, and send samples for genomic sequencing.The Union health secretary, in a letter sent to states on Thursday, said 81 per cent of the fresh Covid-19 cases reported in the previous 24 hours were from four states – Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi and Karnataka.Why have Covid cases started spiking in several parts of the country, including Delhi?The current increase in Covid-19 cases, it seems, is due to sub-variants of Omicron itself. Almost all samples being sequenced are that of the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron (which caused the third wave in the country in January). So, it does not seem like there has been a change in the variant.However, there has been a general laxity in observing Covid-appropriate behaviour, particularly an increased complacency in not wearing masks, which is one of the reasons behind the increase.There is another sub-variant of BA.2 Omicron – BA.2.12.1 – that has been first reported in the United States (US) and is known to be around 25 per cent more infectious than the previous Omicron sub-variants. Studies have shown that people who were previously infected with other Omicron sub-variants still remain susceptible to BA2.12.1. Therefore, it is possible for a person to be infected twice by Omicron. In that sense, we might be following the United States, where a lull in cases was followed by an increase caused by various Omicron sub-variants, including BA.2.12.1.Having said that, immunity from a previous infection – be it caused by any of the variants of Covid-19 – and vaccination provide the best shield. But the protection is against severe disease rather than the infection. Hence, hospitalisations still remain low even in states that are witnessing an increase in cases.What symptoms are patients manifesting at present?I can talk about my hospital and the symptom profile remains pretty much the same as what we saw during the January wave or even the slight surge in April. Most people are coming in with sore throat, body ache, high-grade fever, but with more gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, fullness of abdomen, nausea and irregularity of bowel movement.Omicron sub-variants are known to spread faster than the Delta variant that caused the devastating second wave but they are also known to remain in the upper respiratory tract itself. What this means is that Omicron does not usually lead to pneumonia and drop in oxygen saturation as was seen during the second wave. By virtue of that, ICU admissions, oxygen requirements and deaths were much less during the third wave. Most people died with Covid-19 that aggravated their pre-existing conditions and not due to it during the third wave.Is this the time to ensure masking in public and taking the pending precaution dose?We are all waiting for the end of the pandemic, but we have to continue wearing masks. Seeing people without masks makes an individual uncomfortable about using the protection themselves. However, even one-way masking – one person wearing the mask and others without it – still gives significant protection. So, you should use it even if no one else is.And, yes everyone who is eligible for a precaution dose should get it, especially those over the age of 60 and those who have co-morbidities or a compromised immune system. A study from Israel showed that those who took a second booster dose had a lower rate of infection and severity of disease as compared to those who did not, particularly for the elderly and immune-compromised. Also, recent evidence shows that people who are fully vaccinated are likely to develop fewer post-Covid symptoms.Can we mix vaccines for a precaution dose?As for mixing of vaccines in India for the precaution dose, there is no robust data. Studies from other countries have shown better immune response with a Pfizer vaccine after the AstraZeneca vaccine (Covishield), but that is not applicable in our country because we do not have the Pfizer vaccine yet.

Spike in Covid cases: ‘Mask up, don’t delay your booster dose or drop guard’
Daily vaccination count up in Maharashtra amid fear of fourth wave
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

PUNE: The increase in Covid cases and anxiety over a possible fourth wave have pushed daily vaccinations in the state over the one-lakh mark. In May, Maharashtra was recording an average of 60,855 vaccinations every day. That average rose to nearly 80,200 during June 1-5 and, over the last two days, more than one lakh people have been turning up at vaccination sites. State immunisation officer Dr Sachin Desai said turnouts for second doses and boosters have particularly increased. He said, "Many districts have recorded an increase in daily vaccinations, not just those seeing a rise in cases. Citizens are now understanding the benefit of vaccines. For example, with the reopening of schools, many parents are getting their children vaccinated." Dr Desai said a key reason for the increase in follow-up jabs could be the end of the annual vacation period. "Those who're back from holidays are now taking second doses or boosters, whichever is due," he said. Another official said the rise in Covid cases definitely played a role. During the week May 26-June 1, the average number of jabs administered per day in Mumbai was over 7,700, which went up to approximately 12,500 during June 2-8. The state capital has seen a substantial increase in cases. In Pune city, Dr Madhav Chavan, the MD of Phoenix Hospital, said, "With schools set to reopen soon, parents are now rushing to get their children vaccinated. They are worried about a fourth wave. We have also seen an uptick in demand for boosters. Overall, in the last one week, daily vaccination has gone up 10-20% at our hospitals." Dr Sidram K Raut, director of Noble Hospitals, said, "With domestic and international travel opening up, and the ongoing surge in Covid cases, demand for jabs has gone up again. At our hospital, daily count is up by 5-10%. Much of this trend is because of fear; vaccination is known to protect one from severe Covid-19." Civic officials have pinned a lot of hope on the reopening of schools. Covid vaccinations among children had dipped substantially after the third wave. The summer holidays worsened the situation. "We were unable to hold special camps in schools as they were shut. We're hoping numbers pick up once all schools reopen next week," a senior civic official said. Low coverage had also increased Corbevax wastage (for the 12-14 group) in Maharashtra. Average vaccine wastage in the state was below 5%, but some districts started to report Corbevax wastage as high as 20%.

Daily vaccination count up in Maharashtra amid fear of fourth wave
  • Less than 5% of 83 cr fully vaccinated took booster jab
  • Times of India

    Bhopal: Less than 5% of the people in India who have been fully vaccinated so far, have taken precaution doses. As against 83 crore fully vaccinated people, only 3.66 crore precaution doses have been administered and this also has a share of only 7% of ‘paid precaution doses’ administered to 18 to 59 age group.Only 26.77 lakh people aged between 18 and 59 years have taken precaution doses.Precaution doses are chargeable for people aged between 18 and 59 and are free for people aged above 60 years and also to frontline and health workers.In at least 3 Union Territories including Daman & Diu, Lakshwadweep, Pudducherry not even a single precaution dose in 18-59 age group, i.e., paid age group has been administered, in Arunanchal Pradesh only 2 have received the paid precaution dose and 12 people in each of Meghalaya and Manipur have been administered with precaution dose in this age group, says the data of ministry of health and family welfare.In at least 18 states of the country less than 10,000 precaution doses have been administered to the beneficiaries who fall in the paid category.In Madhya Pradesh where nearly 97% of beneficiaries falling in 18-59 age group are fully vaccinated only 25,747 have taken precaution doses. State is on 14th position among other states in this category. It is only 7 states which includes Bihar (6,32,641), Delhi (4,46,742), Maharashtra (3,21,798), Haryana (2,45,220), West Bengal (1,99,122), Karnataka (1,81,663) and Uttar Pradesh (1,27,159) where more than 1 lakh beneficiaries falling in 18 to 59 age group have taken precaution doses.

  • Maharashtra: Jabs go up 22% as Covid-19 cases rise and vaccination gets a push
  • Times of India

    MUMBAI: A surge in Covid-19 cases and a door-todoor campaign to cover those who have defaulted on their second and precautionary doses have marginally pushed up daily average vaccinations across the state. From an average of 55,000, daily immunisation numbers have reached 67,000 in recent days. On Saturday, more than one lakh people in Maharashtra took Covid-19 vaccine shots, the highest seen in nearly a month. In Mumbai, nearly 20,000 got vaccinated on Saturday, again one of the highest volumes seen in recent weeks. The average number of senior citizens coming out to ta ke booster shots has almost doubled to 15,000 compared to 8,000-9,500 seen in previous weeks in the state. In certain districts, there has been a slight rise in people taking second doses too, which is good news given that the state has almost 1. 7 crore people who never showed up for their second shot. Dr Sachin Desai, state immunisation officer, said that with the 'Har ghar dastak' campaign starting in most districts, vaccination numbers have seen an increase. The numbers are expected to go up more as schools and colleges reopen shortly. Many senior citizens are comi ng out for precautionary doses, which is much needed since Maharashtra is a long way from covering all senior citizens with the third shot. As per state data, 77. 5% (17 lakh) of senior citizens have taken booster shots out of 21. 4 lakh who became eligible having completed nine months since their second shot. However, if the state’s overall senior citizen population is considered, which is approximately 1. 2 crore, then not even 15% have taken the precautionary dose. Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the state Covid task force, said that there is a silent wave going on in some districts of Maharashtra from which the vulnerable can protect themselves by masking and taking their vaccine shots. With cases seeing a surge, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed districts to increase vaccination coverage across age groups. A letter from the Centre addressed to the state’s health secretary on Friday mentioned vaccination as the fourth key intervention in addition to Covid-19's primary ‘test-tracktreat’ strategy.

  • Covid: Only 8 lakh take booster jab even as cases surge in Telangana
  • Times of India

    HYDERABAD: While Telangana is among the five states that received an alert from the Centre on Friday to maintain strict watch and take pre-emptive action to control the spread of Covid-19, officials say that there is callousness among people regarding receiving the booster dose and getting tested for Covid-19 if there are symptoms. However, experts warned that acting at the eleventh hour will not help, but caution and care will keep the numbers low. The Centre noted that Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Karnataka were reporting a surge in number of daily cases, and that genome sequence testing was increasing. Except for Karnataka, the remaining states reported the BA4 sub-variety of Omicron cases. The Centre had asked the states to be vigilant and keep an eye out for emerging clusters. However, officials claimed that the rise in cases is due to people's negligence as many are yet to get vaccinated while there others who do not bother to get tested in case of symptoms. “Some are reluctant and some question the relevance of vaccines and tests now, but this is incorrect. We are trying to convince them,” an official said. Meanwhile, Telangana’s current booster dose coverage is still low, even five months after the drive began. So far, only 8.1 lakh people have taken the jab out of 2.7 crore population eligible for the precautionary dose. Dr NK Arora, head of the Covid-19 working group at the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), previously told TOI that breakthrough infections from BA.4 and BA.5 have been detected in Telangana as well. “These infections can occur even after two doses or after a precaution dose, but taking the shot will help the patients have fewer complications and avoid hospitalisation.” Telangana has reported over 50 cases per day in the last few days. Even after Telangana launched the Har Dasthak Vaccine programme to increase the precaution dose coverage, there has been no rise in coverage.

UP hits 33cr Covid vax dose mark, way ahead of other states
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh achieved another milestone in Covid vaccination as it crossed the 33 crore doses mark on Wednesday, but the state government has further intensified its drive to vaccinate those still due for the second dose.As per the Cowin portal, 33.08 crore doses of the Covid vaccine have been administered in UP, the highest among all the states.UP is followed by Maharashtra (16.74 crore doses), West Bengal (14.05 crore), Bihar (13.32 crore) and Madhya Pradesh (11.94 crore).State health officials said, “Though we are way ahead of other states in vaccination, but a sense of casualness has crept in the people, and it is preventing UP from achieving 100% double dose coverage.”To cover the gap, the state has launched the second phase of cluster campaign in which health teams are visiting homes of those whose second dose is due to find out why they have not taken the vaccine and will convince them to get jabbed.The campaign started on June 6 and will continue till June 24 but the days reserved for routine immunisation — Wednesday and Saturday — have been exempted to ensure that this programme doesn’t derail.As per the official order, 8% of adult population, 23% adolescents (15-17 years) and 70% children (12-14 years) are yet to take their second dose.The health teams have been directed to target schoolchildren after June 20, when the schools reopen.General manager, immunisation, National Health Mission, Uttar Pradesh, Dr Manoj Shukla said, “The urgency for vaccination has dropped from the priority list of the people in general as the number of cases declined. However, it will not be wise to ignore it since the risk of Covid-19 infection still looms large.”

UP hits 33cr Covid vax dose mark, way ahead of other states
33 districts wasted more Covaxin vials than Maharashtra average of 2.36%
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago

Low turnout of beneficiaries has led rural Maharashtra record maximum wastage of vaccines since the start of the mass immunisation programme last year.According to the public health department data, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has been wasted much more than Covishield. In all, 33 districts have wasted a higher amount of Covaxin than the state’s average of 2.36 per cent, with the tribal-dominated Nandurbar topping the chart.The data showed that Nandurbar has the lowest vaccine coverage in the state. As of June 3, 73.7 per cent of the eligible population above 18 years had taken the first dose and 51 per cent were administered with the second dose in the district.Health officials attribute this poor turnout in the district as the reason behind the 5.38 per cent and 0.75 per cent wastage of Covaxin and Covishield vaccines, respectively.“If only one or two persons turn up for vaccination at a particular centre, it may lead to wastage of the remaining doses in a vial. So, we wait to get adequate number of beneficiaries before opening a vial. But as the demand for vaccination has dropped, not many show up. As we can’t return the vials, we have to open them, leading to wastage,” said Dr Govind Chaudhari, District Health Officer of Nandurbar.Nandurbar is followed by other rural districts – Satara (5.28 %), Jalna (4.61 %), Latur (4.25 %), Gondia (3.39 %) and Gadchiroli (3.73 %) – when it comes to wastage of Covaxin vials.According to officials, vaccine wastage can occur due to various reasons. Once a vial is opened, it has to be used within six hours, else the doses get wasted. Similarly, lack of proper storage and exposure to heat can spoil a vaccine. Vaccine wastage can also occur when transportation and storage temperature is improper.“With the limited number of vaccine centres administering Covaxin in rural districts, vaccinators struggle to get 20 beneficiaries together to use a 10 ml vial. This led to higher wastage of Covaxin compared to Covishield, which contains 5 ml of vaccine, comprising 10 doses of 0.5 ml each,” said an official from Gadchiroli, where 90.72 per cent of the adult population has taken the first dose and 71.21 per cent both the doses.In fact, data provided by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) showed that till May, 28,995 doses of Covaxin were wasted in Mumbai, which has a vaccine coverage of 111 per cent.However, the state has fared much better in the administration of Covishield, recording a negative wastage of -0.07 per cent. Among the districts, Nashik (2.67 %), Jalna (2.59 %), Satara (2.52 %), Gadchiroli (2.42 %) and Washim (2.42 %) top the chart when it comes to Covishield wastage. In all, 13 districts reported zero wastage with Mumbai being at the bottom list at -5.12 per cent.Dr Sachin Desai, the state immunization officer, said that many vaccination centres have been able to inoculate 11 beneficiaries from a 5 ml vial of Covishield, which is meant for 10 people. “Sometimes, a vial has an excess dose called ‘overfill’. It is used to vaccinate the 11th person,” he added.Moreover, the state’s average wastage of Corbevax – the vaccine administered to children between 12-14 age group – stands at 9.5 per cent. Sixteen districts, including Mumbai, have recorded over 10 per cent Corbevax wastage in Maharashtra.“Corbevax comes in a 20-dose vial, which is the main reason for its wastage. We are trying to hold special vaccination camps in schools that will provide wider coverage and lessen vaccine wastage,” said a department official. 

33 districts wasted more Covaxin vials than Maharashtra average of 2.36%
Bollywood Stars Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif Test Positive For Covid
Ndtv | 3 weeks ago
Ndtv
3 weeks ago

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wished the Bollywood actor a fast 'recovery'.New Delhi: Shah Rukh Khan tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. Katrina Kaif too tested positive recently, claimed several resports, and had to skip IIFA 2022 ceremony, where her husband, actor Vicky Kaushal, was declared the best actor.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wished the Bollywood superstar a fast 'recovery'."Just came to know that our Brand Ambassador Shahrukh Khan has been detected covid positive. Pray for the fastest recovery for the superstar. Get well Shahrukh! Spring back asap!" Mamata Banerjee tweeted on Sunday.Just came to know that our Brand Ambassador Shahrukh Khan has been detected covid positive. Pray fastest recovery for the superstar. Get well Shahrukh! Spring back asap!— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) June 5, 2022Several Bollywood actors have tested positive for the virus in recent times, even as Maharashtra is witnessing a sharp rise in infections. On Saturday, Bollywood actors Kartik Aaryan and Akshay Kumar tested positive for Covid-19.Mumbai on Sunday reported over 1,400 Covid-19 cases and Mumbai (961 new cases) accounted for almost 60 per cent of the state's total cases.Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray asked people to wear masks and panic amid the spiralling cases. "There is no need to panic; fatalities are not increasing. I appeal to the public to wear a face mask and receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine," he said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comShah Rukh Khan recently announced the teaser of his much-anticipated action-entertainer film 'Jawan'. He also unveiled a poster of the upcoming project on social media.

Bollywood Stars Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif Test Positive For Covid
  • Maharashtra: BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis tests positive for Covid-19
  • Times of India

    MUMBAI: Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis has tested positive for Covid-19. In a tweet, Fadnavis said that he was under home isolation and advised those who came in his contact to get themselves tested for the virus. I have tested #COVID19 positive and in home isolation.Taking medication & treatment as per the doctor’s advice.Th… https://t.co/IadQz0pYHv— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) 1654411812000This is the second time Fadnavis has contracted the virus. Fadnavis had earlier contracted the viral infection in October 2020. He had then undergone treatment at a government hospital.

  • BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis tests positive for coronavirus
  • The Economic Times

    Mumbai, Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said he has tested positive for coronavirus and is in home isolation. Fadnavis, who is the leader of opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, had earlier also contracted the viral infection in October 2020. On Sunday, the former state chief minister in a tweet said, "I have tested #COVID19 positive and in home isolation. Taking medication & treatment as per the doctor's advice. Those who have come in contact with me are advised to get Covid tests done. Take care everyone!" Earlier, when Fadnavis contracted the infection in 2020, he had undergone treatment in a government hospital. I have tested #COVID19 positive and in home isolation.Taking medication & treatment as per the doctor’s advice.Th… https://t.co/IadQz0pYHv— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) 1654411812000

Har Ghar Dastak drive restarts in Maharashtra; over 1 crore people overdue for second jab
Times of India | 3 weeks ago
Times of India
3 weeks ago

Pune: The state government has restarted the ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign to improve Covid vaccination coverage in all districts.The door-to-door drive, state officials said, will attempt to reach out to the more than one crore people who are overdue for the second dose. Citizens will also be urged to take the booster shot. According to estimates, Maharashtra has nearly 1.74 crore people who have missed the due date for the second jab. It also has over 70 lakh citizens who have not taken a single dose of the vaccine.The ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign — started last November — was halted in February this year due to negligible response.State immunisation officer, Dr Sachin Desai, said the drive does not make Covid vaccination mandatory. People will only be requested to take the jab, he said.Dr Sanjay Patil, chairperson of the Indian Medical Association’s Hospital Board of India, Pune chapter, said it's unclear what kind of response the drive is set to generate. “There is overall laxity in the Covid vaccination drive. The programme itself needs a little modification by the health department. Maybe ‘vaccine-on-call’ could be this tweak,” he said.Pune is among the districts with the highest second-dose pendency; data shows that over 15 lakh people are yet to take the second dose. Officials said teams have been sent to Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and the rural areas to improve numbers.Daily coverage has slipped too. In May, daily vaccinations went past the one-lakh mark only four times. For most of the month, it was below 70,000 doses per day.On Wednesday, according to CoWIN, just over 56,000 people were vaccinated against Covid across the state.

Har Ghar Dastak drive restarts in Maharashtra; over 1 crore people overdue for second jab
UP inches closer to 15cr fully vaxxed beneficiaries feat
Times of India | 4 weeks ago
Times of India
4 weeks ago

Lucknow: With the sustained pace of Covid-19 vaccination, Uttar Pradesh is set to touch the milestone of over 15 crore fully vaccinated individuals, a government spokesman said.Staying on top, 32.7 crore total vaccine doses have been administered in the state so far. Out of these, over 17,41,06,125 are first dose beneficiaries, while over 14,92,89,434 individuals are fully vaccinated.So far, over 2,44,29,882 vaccine doses have been administered to children in the age group of 15-17 years and over 97,90,992 vaccine doses have been administered to children in the age group of 12-14 years.In terms of percentage, over 92% of the adult population is fully vaccinated and 100% have received one vaccine dose.In the age category of 15-17 years, over 97% of the children have received at least one dose while over 76% in this age category are fully vaccinated.UP government had started administering booster shots (precaution dose) from January 10 and over 31.2 lakh ‘precaution doses’ have been administered so far.UP is followed by Maharashtra with total dose count of 16.67 crore.“To speed up the vaccination drive for children, CM Yogi Adityanath has asked the officials concerned to ensure adequate availability of vaccine doses in UP and encourage eligible kids to take vaccine dose. The government is also paying special attention to the provision of booster shots (precaution dose) to eligible beneficiaries,” the spokesman added.

UP inches closer to 15cr fully vaxxed beneficiaries feat
Less than 1% Covid patients under hospital care in state
Times of India | 1 month ago
Times of India
1 month ago

Pune: The hospitalisation rate of Covid-19 patients is still very low in the state despite a slight uptick in cases, especially in Mumbai and Pune.The public health department in its report submitted to the state government on Thursday stated that less than 1% of Covid patients were admitted in hospitals across Maharashtra out of over 2,000. State surveillance expert Dr Pradip Awate said, “As our report states, a total of 19 serious patients are in hospitals across the state but only one of them is on a ventilator. The remaining 18 need oxygen support only. So, there is not much burden on the hospital infrastructure as of now.”Health officials from Mumbai on Friday confirmed that a total of 68 Covid patients were undergoing treatment in hospitals. As on Friday night, two persons were in hospital in Pune. Awate said the asymptomatic pattern of Covid infection continued to be dominant in the state till now.Awate said for any disease slowly progressing towards endemicity, this pattern of rise and fall in cases could be seen. He also said the epidemiological pattern would vary area-wise.“It is but natural that there could be a likely spike as vaccine immunity and natural immunity wane a bit. What is important is that there is no new variant and currently what is being seen are sub-lineages and not a new variant,” Awate said, adding senior citizens should take due care and follow masking.Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, the co-chairman of the Indian Medical Association’s national task force, said the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages of Omicron might not immediately cause a major wave as the country had been through the third wave just around three months ago.He said breakthrough infections were being reported now as immunity declines over time. The latest studies from the US show that not all breakthrough infections had good outcomes. “So, we need to keep a watch for clusters, increase testing and contact tracing. As of now without any new variant, the situation is unlikely to burden the health infrastructure,” he said.

Less than 1% Covid patients under hospital care in state
  • Less than 1% Covid patients under hospital care in Maharashtra
  • Times of India

    PUNE: The hospitalisation rate of Covid-19 patients is still very low in the state despite a slight uptick in cases, especially in Mumbai and Pune. The public health department in its report submitted to the state government on Thursday stated that less than 1% of Covid patients were admitted in hospitals across Maharashtra out of over 2,000. State surveillance expert Dr Pradip Awate said, "As our report states, a total of 19 serious patients are in hospitals across the state but only one of them is on a ventilator. The remaining 18 need oxygen support only. So, there is not much burden on the hospital infrastructure as of now." Health officials from Mumbai on Friday confirmed that a total of 68 Covid patients were undergoing treatment in hospitals. As on Friday night, two persons were in hospital in Pune. Awate said the asymptomatic pattern of Covid infection continued to be dominant in the state till now. Awate said for any disease slowly progressing towards endemicity, this pattern of rise and fall in cases could be seen. He also said the epidemiological pattern would vary area-wise. "It is but natural that there could be a likely spike as vaccine immunity and natural immunity wane a bit. What is important is that there is no new variant and currently what is being seen are sub-lineages and not a new variant," Awate said, adding senior citizens should take due care and follow masking. Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, the co-chairman of the Indian Medical Association's national task force, said the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages of Omicron might not immediately cause a major wave as the country had been through the third wave just around three months ago. He said breakthrough infections were being reported now as immunity declines over time. The latest studies from the US show that not all breakthrough infections had good outcomes. "So, we need to keep a watch for clusters, increase testing and contact tracing. As of now without any new variant, the situation is unlikely to burden the health infrastructure," he said.

Fewer than 30% vaccinated among Mumbai's 12-14 population
Times of India | 1 month ago
Times of India
1 month ago

MUMBAI: The Mumbai city is now the only district in Maharashtra where fewer than 30% of the young teenagers have taken at least one shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. Mumbai is behind the state average in vaccination of children between the ages of 12 and 14 years by a considerable margin, lagging even tribal and rural districts such as Gadchiroli and Nandurbar. According to the recent data, barely 27% of the young teens have taken at least one shot in Mumbai against the state average of 57%. In terms of full vaccination, fewer than 10% of children from Mumbai have taken both shots compared to 24% in Maharashtra. In the 12-14 age bracket, Nashik is the state's best performer with 85% of children vaccinated with at least one shot followed by Sangli (84%). Mumbai's response to young teen vaccination has been slow since the first day although it is the only district in Maharashtra to cover 100% adults with both doses. Dr Pramod Jog, a member of the paediatric task force, said that exams, vacations and complacency on the part of parents have jointly contributed to a meek performance in the vaccination of young teenagers and adolescents. "It is a matter of concern. We have spoken to paediatricians and taken workshops with parents and teachers to drive home the importance of vaccination even among young people," he said, adding that while children may not suffer from severe Covid-19, they can be carriers of the virus which could put the high-risk adults in the household at risk. Dr Bakul Parekh, another member of the paediatric task force, said that children who are at high risk themselves because of obesity, childhood diabetics, uncontrolled asthma, and even those who are physically disabled, will certainly benefit from vaccination. A civic official said they have not encountered any severe side effects in more than a lakh kids who have taken Corbevax, and hence parents shouldn't harbour doubts about safety. Maharashtra and Mumbai have been lagging in the vaccination of the 15-18 age bracket, too. Barely 57% of adolescents in the city have taken the first shot and 44% both shots.

Fewer than 30% vaccinated among Mumbai's 12-14 population
  • Covid-19: Maharashtra close to bottom of vaccine chart, just above Bihar, North-East
  • Times of India

    MUMBAI: Maharashtra fares just above Bihar, Jharkhand and North-East states (minus Assam) and is almost at the bottom of the national Covid-19 vaccination coverage chart, as per recent union heath ministry data. The Centre will soon initiate one-on-one discussions with states that are lagging in the coverage of primary as well as precautionary doses, Dr N K Arora, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) chief, told TOI on Tuesday. According to the latest union health ministry figures, 96.2% of Indians aged over 15 have received at least one shot while 85.2% have got both. Several states, including Maharashtra, though, are much behind the country average. Maharashtra has managed to deliver first doses to 91% of its population above 15 years and both to just 74%. Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state, has also outperformed Maharashtra by giving both doses to almost 87% of its 15-plus population and at least one dose to 100%. West Bengal has gone ahead by achieving 81% double-dose coverage. Madhya Pradesh too has covered 97% of its population with at least one dose and 94% both. Among the most populous states, Bihar is the only one behind Maharashtra, having given 70.9% second doses and 83% single. Dr Arora said a total of 1-1. 5 million doses are administered daily in the country and there is scope for improvement. "We will start discussions individually with states to improve the coverage of primary schedule, precautionary dose and for paediatric age groups," said the NTAGI chief. Dr Arora said the government may come out with some special social mobilisation campaigns after discussing it with states. In Maharashtra, where daily immunisations have dropped to barely a lakh, the administration has asked districts to start door-to-door campaigns to deliver second and precautionary shots. More than 1.5 crore people have not taken the second shot. The precautionary dose coverage of seniors is above 70%. Dr Sachin Desai, state immunisation officer, said the less enthusiastic response in the 15-17 age band has pulled down the overall state average to an extent; 65% have taken at least one dose and 45% both. In this age group, even well-performing districts such as Mumbai have seen a meek response-57% first dose and 44% both doses. "After instructions from the Centre, we have asked districts to track those who have skipped their doses and vaccinate them by visiting homes," he said. Districts officials said people are reluctant. "Migration for jobs, dip in viral activity and drop in Covid deaths have brought down the demand for vaccines," said Beed civil surgeon Dr Suresh Sable.