Shillong: Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement that vaccination will be made available for free for the 18+ age group, Meghalaya chief minister on Thursday informed that the state has about 1,50,000 doses and going further, they will no longer have to procure vaccines.

Affirming that the vaccination numbers will now increase, Sangma said that the strategy would change after GoI agreed to supply the 18+ category.

“We have approximately 1,50,000 doses with us right now, the numbers for the 45+ is about 90,000, so we have more doses for the 45+ category. Now with the policy change, we will be able to use those dosages for the 18+. In case, there is reluctance among the 45+ and we have more people coming in from the 18+ category, we will be able to use that,” said Sangma.

Sangma also informed that there would be a limited number for on-spot registration. The state government had placed an order for 60,000 doses before the announcement made by PM Modi. The 60,000 doses are expected to reach the state in two to three days. With 90,000 of that which was from the 45+ category and along with the fresh arrivals, it will add up to 1,50,000 doses.

The chief minister will be visiting Jowai to assess the situation and will then hold a review meeting on the preparedness and overall situation in that area.

Sangma also stressed that the number of cases recorded on Thursday was 600 which was higher than the recovery cases. “But what is important is the epicentre is shifting slowly; earlier it was East Khasi Hills but now it is recording 200+ average cases in a day. We will observe in the next few days and see how the strategy goes and ensure rural areas are equally prepared,” said Sangma.

Sangma added that they are trying their best to ensure that keeping health a priority. They also realize that economic activities need to be balanced out.

Regarding the Delta variant found recently, Sangma said that it is a matter of concern. “Now after doing a genome sequencing report of a large number of samples this is more of a delta variant which is highly infectious. We have seen the spread is taking place throughout the state. We have seen the spread is happening in other dist like West Garo Hills and West Jaintia Hills,” mentioned Sangma.

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