Cassian Baliarsingh

The 75-day-long free booster dose drive under ‘COVID Vaccination Amrit Mahotsava’ is approaching towards its closing stage. However, at least 75% of people in Odisha have not been administered with the precaution dose till now, reports said.

According to government data, at least 23.32 lakh people have not taken their second dose while around 2.40 crore people are yet to take the booster jabs.The Director of State Health & Family Welfare Department, Bijay Panigrahy meanwhile has appealed people to take booster dose as soon as possible before the conclusion of the vaccination drive.

“Till now, a total of 7.59 crore vaccine doses have been administered in Odisha. Around 97% people took the first dose while only 90% of eligible adult population have been inoculated with the second dose. We are now emphasising on administering precaution doses to one and all. Free booster jabs are being administered to all eligible people above 18 years of age,” Panigrahy informed.

“Till now, 55.91 lakh people in the age group of 18-59 have taken precaution dose.  But, this is only 25% of the total target. So, I appeal everyone to visit the nearest government hospitals and other healthcare facilities to avail the free booster dose,” he added.

“It is a humble request from Health & Family Welfare department to all Odias to take the booster dose as soon as possible. We just have 27 days left, so do it as soon as possible. I also want to inform that many people have also not taken their second dose. So, I request them to get administered too,” he concluded.

The top health official also spoke on providing free kit – equipped with contraceptives and condoms – to newly married couples called as ‘Nabadampati’ kit. It will be distributed by ASHA workers who will also carry brochures, guidelines, and other important literature on the importance of safe sex, family planning and spacing out births.

Worth mentioning, The ‘COVID Vaccination Amrit Mahotsava’ was launched on July 15 as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav to widen the coverage of fightback against the pandemic.