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Devendra Fadnavis Faces Ire After 22-Year-Old Nephew Gets COVID Vaccination

This comes amid several news reports highlighting a shortage of vaccines in the country, where in many cases eligible people were not able to receive their second shots.

New Delhi: Former Maharashtra chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Monday faced social media ire after his 22-year-old nephew shared on Instagram a photo of him getting a COVID-19 vaccine shot.

Tanmay Fadnavis received the first dose of the vaccine in Mumbai and the second dose at the National Cancer Institute in Nagpur, the Hindustan Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Central government announced on Monday (April 19) that everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine shots from May 1. The earlier age limit was 45.

After the photos were widely shared on social media, several politicians questioned how Fadnavis’s nephew, who was ineligible until now, was able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine shots.

Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson and skill development minister Nawab Malik has sought a high-level inquiry into this matter, the Times of India reported.

“Does he have comorbidities or is he a frontline healthcare worker? If he is not, then an offence should be registered against him,” said Malik.

Tanmay later allegedly deleted his post from Instagram after drawing flak from social media.

Tanmay is the grandson of former MLA Shobha Fadnavis, who is Devendra Fadnavis’s aunt.

The Maharashtra Congress attacked the Modi government and tweeted, “The Modi government has made it a condition to vaccinate only people above 45 years of age. In such a situation, how can Fadnavis’ nephew who is less than 45 years of age get vaccinated? The lives of BJP leaders’ families are important. So what are the other people? Isn’t their life worth anything!”

This comes amid several news reports highlighting a shortage of vaccines in the country, where in many cases eligible people were not able to receive the second shots.

Also read: Data Shows India May Not Have Enough Doses To Meet Its COVID Vaccination Targets

“Several people complained that even after booking their slots for second shots several times, they were being cancelled,” the New Indian Express reported.

However, there are many (ineligible people) who have broken the queue to get the COVID-19 vaccination doses.

According to the Hindu, many ineligible beneficiaries in Delhi were receiving COVID shots as ‘healthcare workers’ and ‘frontline workers’. This led to a 24% jump in the database of the healthcare workers’ category, the report added. Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan had directed all states and Union territories to immediately stop new registrations in these two categories.

Bhushan, in his letter to states and UTs, also said that persons aged above 45 years can register themselves on the Co-WIN app. And on-site registration of genuinely leftover healthcare and frontline workers will only be done at government coronavirus vaccination centres, after providing an original photo ID card and a copy of employment certificate.

Several chief ministers, including Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan and West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, have written to the prime minister for more vaccines to inoculate the population.

In terms of production capacity, the manufacturers of Covishield and Covaxin produce roughly 24 lakh vaccines a day. The current demand is 37 lakh vaccines a day, The Wire had noted in an analysis on April 10.