In the event of a third wave, the State had a capacity of 10,000 beds and there need not be a concern about shortage, he assured.

The government had identified places of pilgrimage for vaccination where by July-end vaccination is expected to be completed. Four pilgrimage towns of Tiruvannamalai, Nagore, Velankanni and Rameshwaram, had been chosen, State Health Minister Ma. Subramanian has said.

He was speaking at the vaccination camp organised at St. Xavier’s School in Saidapet. The Christian community, including employees of the church, in the locality would be fully vaccinated as the church in the area is a pilgrimage place frequented by Christians from other districts, the Minister said.

In the event of a third wave, the State had a capacity of 10,000 beds and there need not be a concern about shortage, he assured.

That the third wave of COVID-19 would affect children is only a guess, experts at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences had said, he said.

Pneumococcal vaccine

Though pneumococcal vaccine had been introduced under the national vaccination programme by the Union government two years ago and 21 States were administering them, the AIADMK government had not taken any initiative to launch it in the State when it was in power, he charged.

“The vaccines prevent brain fever and pneumonia in children. Experts have said that the vaccination must be given in three doses to children,” he said.

The Minister said the government had launched the programme now. The vaccine would to be administered to 9.23 lakh children below the age of five. The entire paediatric population would be covered under the programme, he said.

He termed it as irresponsible of a former Chief Minister to say the State had received 30 lakh vaccines three days ago when the State has procured three lakh vaccines. “We do not want to create confusion. Priority is given to those due for the second dose. As and when Covaxin is received, it is being administered,” he said.

People should rely on information given by the government and not be influenced by what is circulated in social media regarding the third wave of the pandemic, he urged.

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