BHUBANESWAR: The State government on Friday announced suspension of vaccination drive in the urban areas of 10 districts bordering Chhattisgarh during weekends until further order. The halt in vaccination has been necessitated in view of the weekend shutdown imposed in the districts to contain the spread of Covid-19. However, the drive will continue in rural areas of the districts.
Meanwhile, battling acute shortage of vaccines, the government once again urged the Union Health Ministry to supply adequate quantities of doses.The vaccination was badly affected on Friday as only 781 sites of the total 1,476 were open for inoculation in 29 districts. It was no vaccination day for Koraput district due to non-availability of doses. The number of inoculations came down to only around 91,195 on Friday from over two lakh a few days earlier.
Health officials said Odisha required more doses of Covishield as the vaccine has been approved for the entire State while Covaxin has been allowed for Bhubaneswar only.Citing extremely low and intermittent supply of Covid vaccines to the State, Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das has requested Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to allot 25 lakh doses of Covishield in a single lot for the next 10 days.
The Health Minister said even as the State is prepared to undertake three lakh vaccinations daily, it is not possible due to scanty supply. “Odisha is being allocated two to three lakh vaccine doses in a gap of two days. Since it takes about three days to transfer vaccine from the State vaccine store to cold chain points in the far-off districts, there is stock out situation in several districts due to intermittent supply,” Das pointed out.
While there is nil stock of Covishield vaccine presently at the State-level, regional and district stores, only 91,424 doses of Covishield and 2,49,196 doses of Covaxin are available in cold chain points in the State. The State received three lakh doses of Covishield on Friday.
Director of Family Welfare Dr Bijay Panigrahi said it will take at least a day to dispatch the vaccine to the districts. “Around 400 sites will carry out vaccination on Saturday. There is no vaccine stock in Koraput, Jharsuguda and Nuapada,” he said. Of the 53,79,650 doses of vaccines, including 48,42,870 doses of Covishield and 5,36,780 doses of Covaxin received so far, the State has administered 49,01,975 doses.