Aizawl: The Mizoram government will launch the vaccination drive for people in the age group of 18-44 years from May 17, an official said on Friday.

State Health Special Secretary Lalramnghaka said that priority would be given to vulnerable sections and people having high exposure like cooking gas distributors, journalists, public transport drivers and conductors, employees of power and public health engineering departments, and those working at post offices, pharmacies, filling stations, banks and airport, among others.

He said that all beneficiaries would not be covered this time due to a shortage of vaccine.

According to the health secretary, a consignment of 1,6340 doses of Covishield had arrived in the state on Thursday.

He said that the number of beneficiaries in the age group of 18-44 years is estimated to be about 5.1 lakh and more than 10.2 lakh doses are required for full vaccination.

He said that the government had already placed an order for procurement of more than 10.2 lakh of which 1,642 doses have been received.

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“All beneficiaries in the age group of 18-44 years will be able to be covered this time as a priority would be given to vulnerable sections. However, the government is making massive efforts to procure more vaccines to ensure that all beneficiaries are vaccinated at the earliest,” he said.

He urged people to strictly adhere to Covid-19 appropriate behaviours.

Mizoram population is estimated to be 12.26 lakh now.

According to the state health department, as many as 2,31,589 people have been administered the first dose of Covishield till Thursday.

Of this 51,744 people have received full doses of the vaccine, it said.

According to Dr Eric Zomawia, mission director of National Health Mission (NHM), the vaccine stock for other age groups- 45 and above as on Friday was 1,86,990 doses.

He said that the state will require at least 80,000-90,000 additional doses for full vaccination to this age group other than the 18-44 age group.

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