Covid vaccine stockout in private hospitals of Odisha

Some of the private hospitals had to push free vaccination to their corporate clients as the vaccines they had procured were set to expire in February.
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)

BHUBANESWAR: Even as the demand for precautionary doses rose amid a significant spike in new Covid-19 cases in Odisha, vaccines for the booster doses are not available in the state. While the government vaccination centres and most of the prominent private hospitals have stocked out, a couple of private centres are left with Covid vaccines only for first and second doses.

Of around 15 private vaccination centres in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, a few doses of vaccine are available in KIMS Hospital, Bhubaneswar and Simpleekare Health Pvt Ltd CVC in the twin cities.  
Sources said intranasal vaccine iNCOVACC is available for Rs 990 per dose at KIMS and CorBEvax is available for Rs 400 per dose at both the centres of Simpleekare Health Pvt Ltd. No hospital though has the stock of any vaccine for precaution doses.

The state government had stopped free vaccination drive since February 10 following a drop in demand and unavailability of vaccines from the Centre. Though the vaccines were available at private centres, they too stopped procuring after thousands of doses expired due to no demand.

Some of the private hospitals had to push free vaccination to their corporate clients as the vaccines they had procured were set to expire in February. “Be it primary or precautionary doses, we have stopped procuring vaccines since then. There is no point in stocking vaccines when there is no demand. We will consider if the demand rises again,” said director of a private corporate hospital.

Meanwhile, in view of the surge in Covid cases and demand for precautionary doses, the Odisha government on Tuesday urged Centre to provide vaccines for commencement of vaccination drive.
Director of family welfare Dr Bijay Panigrahi requested the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) for CorBEvax vaccine at the earliest.

“There is a demand for precaution doses following the rise in Covid cases. We have requested for 50,000 doses initially. We will seek additional doses if the demand rises further,” he said. The state has achieved 41 per cent coverage of the precaution or booster dose.

A couple of months after Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya clarified that states seeking booster doses from Centre can procure vaccines as per their needs, Odisha’s fresh request to the Ministry has left many surprised. There was no communication from Centre on free vaccine when the state had requested for the same in December.

Asked if the state government would procure vaccine in case Centre turns down the request, Health secretary Shalini Pandit said, “Covid vaccine is available in the private sector though the MoHFW has stopped supply for the government sector. We have requested them for fresh supply.”

Meanwhile, Odisha reported 212 new cases, taking the active tally to 902 and test positivity rate to three per cent. Sundargarh registered the highest of 64 cases, followed by 42 from Nabarangpur. Khurda and Cuttack recorded 18 and 23 cases respectively.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express