PM meet: Maha CM seeks more vaccination centres, Haffkine nod

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Mumbai, Mar 17 (PTI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday sought approval for starting more vaccination centres to expedite inoculation in the state and demanded that Mumbai-based Haffkine Institute be allowed to produce the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to an official statement, Thackeray raised the demand during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's interaction via video conferencing with chief ministers of some states amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The PM promptly said institutes in all states which can produce the vaccine will be encouraged, according to the statement.

Thackeray said those centres or hospitals which have the capability to conduct vaccination should be allowed to do so, adding that efforts will be taken to vaccinate three lakh people daily in the state.

The CM called for transferring vaccine technology to the Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited under the Centre's Mission COVID Suraksha following the guidance of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The Haffkine Institute can produce 126 million vaccines if the permission is granted, he added.

As per the release, the Union health secretary, in his presentation, said Maharashtra had done a satisfactory job when it came to vaccination, but called for increasing the numbers.

An average of 1,38,957 persons were being administered doses daily, and 35.52 lakh doses have been administered in Maharashtra till Wednesday, the statement said, adding that 31,38,463 doses are available with the state.

This is 10 days stock if three lakh people have to be vaccinated daily, Thackeray said and demanded more doses.

Thackeray noted that Maharashtra had reported less than 2,000 daily cases on some days earlier this year, but the number of patients had increased in some districts recently.

The 'sudden' rise in cases in Maharashtra or states in the western part of the country is 'confusing' and experts should throw light on the same, Thackeray requested the prime minister, the statement said.

The chief minister also called for vaccinating all those above the age of 45, irrespective of the presence of comorbidities.

Meanwhile, the Union health secretary said Maharashtra reported 7,741 fresh daily cases on March 1, and March 15 saw a single-day spike of 13,527.

The state has 60 per cent of the country's active cases and its positivity rate was 10 per cent on March 1, which has now jumped to 16 per cent, he said, and called for an increase in testing. PTI ENM BNM BNM