BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on the centralised vaccination drive from June 21 with all people over 18 years to be inoculated free of cost. “Every life is precious. No one is safe until everyone is vaccinated. As a nation we stand united in this fight against #Covid19 pandemic. Thank PM Shri @narendramodi ji for making vaccination a national mission,” tweeted Naveen.
Taking a lead on building a national consensus on vaccination strategy, Naveen on June 2 had written to chief ministers on centralised procurement of Covid vaccines in view of the challenges faced by states. Stating that the pandemic was the greatest challenge India had faced as a nation since Independence, he had also emphasised that the execution of the programme has to be decentralised and states be allowed the flexibility to determine their own mechanisms for ensuring universal vaccination.
This was after the State failed to get response to the global e-tender for procuring 3.8 crore vaccine doses and the inordinate delay in supply of vaccines by the two domestic manufacturers. Following the PM’s announcement, the State government is now waiting for guidelines from the Centre to carry forward the vaccination drive. “There is no relevance of the global tender if all vaccines are to be supplied by the Centre. We are waiting for official communication from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare based on the announcement by the Prime Minister,” said Additional Chief Secretary of Health PK Mohapatra.
Meanwhile, the vaccination drive has picked up momentum after nearly two months. As many as 1,68,352 doses were administered on Monday through 1,097 centres. The last time Odisha had crossed 1.5 lakh vaccination on a single day was April 15.So far, 83.62 lakh vaccine doses have been administered. While 89 per cent (pc) healthcare workers and 94 pc frontline workers have been fully vaccinated, 46 pc people aged 45 years and above have got their first shot.The State has a stock of 3.73 lakh doses of Covishield and 2.08 lakh doses of Covaxin under Central supply along with 2.3 lakh doses of Covaxin and 1.69 lakh doses of Covishield as part of its own procurement.