Salman Khan. Image Source: IANS News

May 14 : Recently, the Maharashtra government has suspended COVID-19 vaccination for people in the age group of 18-44 due to shortage of vaccines,  state Health Minister Rajesh Tope informed. The state government will now divert about 3  lakh vaccines meant for the 18-44 age group for people aged 45 years and above.

This decision of the Maharashtra government has upset the cine workers of Bollywood as 60 per cent of the workforce falls in this age bracket. Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) president, Ashok Dubey, said that the extension of lockdown in the state has already jeopardised the livelihood of cine workers and now putting a hold on vaccination of young people have made them upset. The workers were planning to get back on the sets after taking two doses of the vaccine.

Earlier, Yash Raj Films (YRF) head Aditya Chopra offered to get the entire daily workers of the Hindi film industry vaccinated against the coronavirus. Aditya has taken upon himself the responsibility to vaccinate almost 30,000 registered members of the Hindi film industry and procure 60,000 coronavirus vaccines—2 doses each. The filmmaker has urged the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray to allow the production house to buy 60,000 COVID-19 vaccines and take care of all the expenses related to the immunisation programme for the 30,000 registered workers. 

Aditya has written to Uddhav Thackeray requesting help to facilitate his initiative of getting 30,000 workers of the film industry vaccinated. “The Chief Minister has not even replied to the letter which is very disappointing,” Ashok Dubey said.

Salman Khan has also said that he would like to initiate vaccination drive if he can procure them. Unfortunately, these efforts will go waste as the state faces acute shortage of vaccines. 

Meanwhile, several states have decided to import vaccines amid acute shortage COVID-19 vaccines. At least 10 states including Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Uttarakhand decided to issue global tenders to procure vaccines. Earlier, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Odisha had floated global tenders for vaccines. 

 Latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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