BHUBANESWAR: Even as Odisha recently achieved the feat of one crore double dose inoculation, slow rate of second dose vaccination in more than half of the districts has emerged a major concern for the administration with new cases rising steadily across the State.
While around 70 per cent of the targeted population in only two districts - Khurda and Ganjam - have been fully vaccinated, the second dose coverage is less than 30 per cent in 10 districts. It is above 40 per cent in Cuttack, Sambalpur, Puri, Sundargarh and Balasore. With a second dose coverage of around 24 per cent, Nabarangpur, one of the worst hit districts during the second wave of the pandemic is at the bottom. Other districts where vaccination coverage is below the State average are Deogarh, Nuapada, Balangir, Boudh, Rayagada, Kalahandi and Malkangiri.
Of the five Municipal Corporations, all the targeted population in Bhubaneswar and Berhampur have been administered with at least a single dose while three others Cuttack, Rourkela and Sambalpur are lagging. However, all age-appropriate people in 3,540 villages in the State have received the first shot. Director of Family Welfare Dr Bijay Panigrahi said vaccination that had slowed down due to festivals and rain has again started picking up pace as 2.78 lakh people were inoculated on Tuesday.
“As many as 24 lakh people are due for second dose. People in Nabarangpur, Gajapati, Balangir, Kandhamal and Nuapada are not turning up for second dose despite several reminders through SMS. We have asked local healthcare workers to visit their houses and mobilise them for vaccination,” he added.
Of the targeted 3.1 crore population in Odisha, 2.45 crore have got the first dose and 1.01 crore both the doses. Irrespective of vaccination status, the State witnessed a 63 per cent rise in new Covid cases, which rose to 556 in last 24 hours from 340 a day before.
Khurda that topped with 71 per cent of its targeted population being fully vaccinated continued to be the leading contributor to the daily caseload. The district recorded 305 cases including 194 cases from Bhubaneswar followed by Cuttack with 41.
The cases are also rising in Mayurbhanj, Puri, Sundargarh and Sambalpur. Ten districts did not report any case. The death of four patients, two each from Cuttack and Jagatsingpur, took the toll to 8,294. The State has 4,228 active cases after recovery of 618 patients.