Mumbai: The Maharashtra government said on Wednesday that journalists can be extended the facility of inoculation on priority only when the state gets a sufficient stock of vaccine doses.
Earlier in the day, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis supported the demand that journalists be considered frontline workers and vaccinated on priority.
Asked about the demand, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said, “There is no sufficient stock of vaccine doses and the available stock is going to be used for the above-45 age group because their inoculation can not be delayed further.
“We are being told that over one crore Covishield vials would be available from May 20 onwards. If we get vials in such a large quantity, we can discuss the proposal of vaccinating journalists under the frontline workers category,” he told reporters.
On allowing journalists to travel by local trains in Mumbai, he said, “I do not think the current strict restrictions are going to be eased even after May 15. But we will have to wait for the actual decision.”
Fadnavis demanded in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that journalists, photographers and camerapersons be included in the frontline workers category to get them inoculated against coronavirus.
At least 12 states in the country have taken this step, the BJP leader said.
Several media persons have succumbed to COVID-19 in the first and second waves of the pandemic, he said.