Vaccine drive to speed up after adequate supply starts from June: Maharashtra CM

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said his government was relentlessly pursuing the issue of vaccine supply, adding that his government was ready to make one-time payment for 12 crore doses for beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group.
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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday expressed confidence that the vaccination drive would be expedited after the state starts getting adequate supply of doses from June.

Inaugurating a field training workshop titled Pediatrics COVID-19, Thackeray said his government was relentlessly pursuing the issue of vaccine supply, adding that his government was ready to make one-time payment for 12 crore doses for beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group, who account for six crore of the state's total population.

"I am confident the vaccination drive will pick up once the supply is smooth after June," the CM asserted.

He said the state witnessed oxygen shortage during the second wave of infections but it was now well equipped to tackle a possible third wave since effective steps had been taken to make the state self-sufficient in the vital gas.

"Even though we haven't been successful in defeating the virus, we have kept the number of cases in control. It is the success of our state as a united force comprising all stakeholders. We have to be alert to protect children from the possible third wave. The first wave hit senior citizens, the second one targeted youth, and now children are under threat," he said.

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The CM said "unpleasant decisions" like lockdown had to be taken to contain the outbreak and asked people to get treated immediately if they are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms.

Suhas Prabhu, head of the COVID-19 pediatric task force, said in a majority of cases, the only symptom may be fever with complete recovery being made in a week's time.

"The other possibility was COVID pneumonia and infection from COVID positive mothers after the third trimester. Ninety percent cases are likely to be asymptomatic, 5 percent moderate and 1-2 percent pneumonia," Prabhu said, adding that pediatric COVID care hospitals, pediatric ICUs, and high dependency units were being set up in the state in view of a possible third wave.

He said home care would be done through telecommunication in fever clinics.

Vijay Yevale, another task force member, said parents should take their children to a doctor as soon as they have fever.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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