Govt flags concern on vaccine shortage | Bhubaneswar News

BHUBANESWAR: The state’s Covid vaccination programme has been pushed towards uncertainty due to depletion in available stock even as the government has twice flagged its concern this week during meetings with the Centre, seeking early supply for a smooth inoculation process.
Additional chief secretary (health) Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra said with the available stock, the state is not in a position to plan sessions for the next fortnight. “The health ministry has asked us to wait till Monday for the issue to get resolved. For further planning, we need to know from the Centre on the availability of vaccines,” Mohapatra said.
Odisha has got 25 lakh doses of vaccines out of which 2.5 lakh were of Covaxin and the rest Covishield. It has already used 16,88,674 doses as part of the first inoculation to 13,26,275 people and second dose to 3,62,399. With a wastage of around 1.4% (around 35,000 doses), the state is in a position to use another less than eight lakh doses.
Since the state needs to ensure second dose to 8.11 lakh people, it would not be possible to plan first dose inoculation till it gets supply or intimation about likely supply, the health department sources said.
On March 12, the state health department had sought early supply for uninterrupted vaccination. Pointing out that the state can have uninterrupted sessions for 10 days only (till March 19) with the available stock, director family welfare Bijay Panigrahi had written to the Union health ministry seeking an additional 10 lakh doses of Covishield by March 18. That did not happen.
The health department on Wednesday requested the Centre to supply another 25 lakh doses. “With the available stock of vaccine in all cold chain points in the state, we can conduct sessions for maximums six days. We need at least 25 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine within two to three days so that we will be able to schedule sessions in advance for more than 15 days,” Panigrahi wrote again. The state, however, is yet to receive any vaccine or intimation about future supply from the Centre, a government source said.
Since the state was planning to scale up and cover around two lakh people daily, the supply uncertainty has severely affected its plan, another health department officer said. On Friday, the state vaccinated 1,07,346 people, including 93,114 above 60 years of age.

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