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Dilip Kumar

Bhubaneswar: The demand for vaccination against Covid-19 infection for all above 18 years in Odisha has taken the centre stage with opposition parties, BJP and Congress, seeking announcement of free and mass inoculation in the Stated at the earliest.

The demand by the opposition parties comes in the backdrop of the announcement made by six States to launch free vaccination programme for all citizens above 18 years from next month.

BJP State general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan demanded the announcement of the adult vaccination drive in the State within 24 hours.

“The State government should make a formal announcement to vaccinate all above 18 years within 24 hours. The government should show its political will like other states which have already made such announcement,” Harichandan said.

The senior BJP leader also said that the State government had earlier claimed to accelerate the inoculation exercise if the vaccines were available in the open market.

The Centre had recently allowed the pharmaceutical companies to sell their products to states and private parties in the open market. So, Odisha should initiate steps in this regard without any further delay, he said demanding the revamping of the vaccination infrastructure in the State.

Odisha Congress leader and former MP Pradeep Majhi also made similar demands. He said the State government should vaccinate all free of cost as most of the people in Odisha live under Below Poverty Line.

“Odisha is a poor State. So, the State government should come forward at the earliest to vaccinate people of all ages free of cost. Other states have already made the announcement in this regard,” Majhi added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also assured the country to provide the vaccine free of cost, which is a biggest tool in the fight against Covid-19 diseases, the Congress leader pointed out.

It is worth mentioning that states like Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Sikkim have already announced free-vaccination for all in their respective States.

Notably, the Centre on Monday had allowed vaccine for all above 18 years. It also allowed pharma companies to sell half of their vaccines to states and private parties in the open market while 50% of the jabs would be mandatorily sold out to the Centre.

The decision was taken following a review meeting called to discuss the vaccination scenario in the country which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Monday.

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