BHUBANESWAR: The State government on Monday sent an SOS to the Centre seeking immediate supply of adequate quantity of vaccines for ensuring smooth and unbroken inoculation drive.
Citing acute shortage of Covishield in the State that has been conducting over two lakh vaccinations a day, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) PK Mohapatra wrote to Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan calling for supply of at least 15 lakh doses immediately.
The State at present has a stock of around 4.87 lakh doses of which 3.5 lakh doses are Covishield and remaining 1.37 lakh Covaxin.The Union Health Ministry has, however, assured to supply only 3.5 lakh doses by Tuesday.
"Though we had requested to ensure a minimum supply of 15 lakh doses of Covishield immediately in view of the surge in cases and impending heatwave, we have been assured only 3,49,130 doses on April 6 which will not be sufficient for two days," Mohapatra pointed out.
Mohapatra in his letter also highlighted that Odisha has been saving vaccines as the wastage rate has been minus 0.5 per cent which is amongst the lowest in the country. Earlier, responding to the request from the State government, the Union Health Secretary had made it clear that there will be no shortage of vaccines as the Centre is monitoring the usage and stock.
According to the Health department, a total 2,63,041 beneficiaries of different categories were administered vaccines at 1,472 session sites on Monday. A total of 35,67,810 beneficiaries in the State have been inoculated so far.
The department has also revised the vaccination timing in the State in view of the heatwave conditions. Eligible beneficiaries can now get the jab from 8 am to 12 noon and 3 pm to 6 pm. Mohapatra has directed collectors, municipal commissioners and CDMOs to make arrangements accordingly.