MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday, October 31, 2021, expressed concern over what said was a slow pace of coronavirus vaccination in the state, adding he will take up the issue during an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week.

Thackeray also said vaccine hesitancy was also an issue besides the unavailability of vaccines and asked more and more people to shed their inhibitions and get vaccinated.

In an informal interaction with senior journalists at his official residence Varsha in the posh Malabar Hill area in south Mumbai, Thackeray, flanked by wife Rashmi, did not entertain any queries on politics.

Asked about the long-term strategy of his government to tackle the pandemic, Thackeray quipped, “Let us first focus on the task at hand, that is to get more and more people vaccinated and boost the health infrastructure in the state…People are talking about booster doses. Let us first ensure that all people get both the doses,” he said. 

“There are people who have not got even the first dose,” he added.  “The impact of the pandemic’s third wave could be greatly reduced if people follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. Even those fully vaccinated should continue wearing face masks.”

The CM spoke of taking “calculated risks” in allowing certain activities during the pandemic without causing economic hardships.

The pandemic has affected not just the state or the country but the entire global economy, he added.

Modi is scheduled to hold a review meeting via video conferencing on November 3 with district magistrates of over 40 districts having low coronavirus vaccination coverage.

The meeting will include districts with less than 50 per cent coverage of the first dose and low coverage of the second dose of the vaccine, a CMO official said.