Ahmedabad, Jul 22 (PTI) As more than 15 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine are still available with the Gujarat government, a special vaccination drive will be conducted on July 25 for shopkeepers and those associated with other commercial activities, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said on Thursday.

Earlier this month, the state government had announced that people associated with the business of hotels, malls, shops, salons and restaurants are required to get their first dose of vaccine by July 31.

"Till now, we have administered 3.01 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The Centre had sent additional doses as per our request. As a result, we still have a stock of 15.18 lakh doses and around 2.5 lakh doses arrive almost every day," said Patel, who handles the Health portfolio.

Since shopkeepers and others are required to take the first dose before July 31 as per the Home Department's notification, the government has decided to conduct a special drive for them this Sunday (July 25), he said, adding that vaccines will be administered at 1,800 centres.

Apart from shopkeepers and others mentioned in the notification, teaching staff of coaching centres, library staff, drivers and conductors of state bus transport, people working in cinemas and sportspersons will also be inoculated on Sunday, the minister said.

The state government had last week announced that COVID-19 vaccination will not be conducted in the state on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Vaccination was halted on Wednesdays on account of "Mamata Diwas", which is observed as part of the ongoing universal immunisation programme for pregnant women, children and infants, while Sundays have been declared as a holiday for the health staff.

This new system came into effect last week. Prior to that, vaccination drive was being conducted on all days.

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