Dilip Kumar

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: The Centre today dismissed the Odisha government's allegations of insufficient and erratic supply of Covid-19 vaccines to the State that is hindering its daily vaccination target.

In a letter to PK Mohapatra, the Additional chief secretary of Odisha Health Department, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan stated that 34,46,760 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been supplied to Odisha as on March 27.

"A total of 21,67,956 eligible beneficiaries have been vaccinated which translates to consumption of about 22,97,431 doses resulting in a balance of 11,49,329 doses available with the State," he stated in the letter.

Bhushan further said that the Centre is constantly reviewing and allocating vaccine based on the progress of vaccination in all States/UTs including Odisha.

Despite the available stocks, the Centre has further allocated an additional supply of 5,48,250 doses which is expected to reach the State on March 28, the Union Health Secretary added.

"Based on these facts, you would agree that the arguments of discretion and erratic supply of vaccine as made in your letter is not tenable," the letter read.

Following Bhushan's clarification, BJP came down heavily on the State government for misleading the fact on vaccine supply.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, in a series of tweets, stated that he had discussed the matter with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan who assured him of adequate availability of vaccines.

Meanwhile, BJP State spokesperson Golak Mohapatra demanded apology from the Additional chief secretary PK Mohapatra for misleading people over availability of vaccine.

"It seems that the letter had been written by the general secretary of a party. He might have written such letter without the knowledge of the Chief Minister. The letter aims at creating panic. He should immediately tender an apology," Mohapatra demanded.