Global tenders for 3 crore doses of vaccines from open market
The COVID-19 epidemic curve appears to have scaled the peak in Kerala, according to public health experts. However, this does not signal an immediate change in the situation nor does it mean that the current vigil against the disease can be lowered, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.
He said here on Monday that there were some positive trends in disease transmission in the State. Test positivity rate had shown a reduction. The weekend lockdowns and restrictions which were in place in the State before the full lockdown seem to have had some impact on disease transmission. In eight districts at least, there was a decrease in disease transmission by 10-30%. However, cases were continuing to rise in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Malappuram and Palakkad.
The impact of the current lockdown on disease transmission is yet to be ascertained. However, people had been very cooperative. It is essential that the lockdown is properly implemented and the vigil is maintained, lest the disease transmission will go up and the health system will get overwhelmed, Mr. Vijayan said.
Jabs for pregnant women
The State has written to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on offering COVID-19 vaccination to pregnant women and lactating mothers, following experts’ opinion that it was safe to vaccinate them, Mr. Vijayan said.
The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and the NITI Aayog had said that the choice of vaccinating oneself or not should be left to pregnant women themselves.
He said that ante-natal care for pregnant women seemed to be failing during the COVID-19 pandemic. ASHA workers in respective wards should follow up pregnant women at home and monitor the blood glucose and blood pressure levels.
The State has fast-tracked procedures for floating global tenders to procure vaccines. The State’s attempt was to procure 3 crore doses of vaccines from the open market at competitive prices.
18-44 age group
Mr. Vijayan said that though the vaccination for those with co-morbidities amongst the 18-44 age group had begun in the State, there were many teething troubles, some complaints and practical problems in the way. He said that this would be resolved soon.
Co-morbidity certificate will have to be produced in the format prescribed on the website and all other procedural requirements followed to the letter for the applicants to receive vaccination slots, he said.
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