BHUBANESWAR: The state health department on Monday once again wrote to the Centre highlighting the “acute shortage of Covishield vaccine” in the state.
In a letter to Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan, additional chief secretary (health) Pradipta Mohapatra said the state has only enough stock to last two days.
Stating that the Union health ministry has been requested to supply at least 15 lakh doses of Covishield immediately amid the surge in cases and the impending heat wave, Mohapatra pointed out, “We have been assured that 3,49,130 doses of Covisheild will reach here on April 6. It will not be sufficient for even two days.”
As on 8am of Monday, Odisha had 7.50 lakh doses of vaccine — 6.02 lakh doses of Covishield and 1.48 lakh doses of Covaxin, Mohapatra wrote. The state has been vaccinating more than two lakh persons daily. Altogether 2.63 lakh doses were used up on Monday itself, reducing the stock further to 4.80 lakh doses.
Mohapatra pointed out that Odisha’s vaccine wastage rate is minus 0.5% (which means vaccine savings as each vial has 10% extra keeping possible wastage in mind).
Mohapatra’s SOS to the Centre comes on a day the stock reduced drastically in several districts. Sources said districts such as Ganjam and Sambalpur have brought down their daily targets for vaccination because of poor supply and would be forced to reduce the number of vaccination centres.
Mohapatra had on March 26 written to the Union health secretary highlighting the erratic supply of vaccines and asking the Centre not to discriminate between states. Bhushan had replied calling “the arguments of discretion and erratic supply of vaccine” as “not tenable.” Bhushan had assured there will be no shortage of vaccine.
With 2.63 lakh more doses exhausted on Monday, the total doses used by the state has risen to 35.67 lakh. So far, 4.72 lakh people have received the full dose of the vaccine in the state.