Bhubaneswar: Odisha will receive nearly 5.4 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines in two phases during the ‘Tika Utsav’ that get kick-started today across the country.
The State Health Department has today again sent an SOS to the Union Health Ministry for immediate replenishment of Covishield consignment, as nearly 900 vaccination centres in the State have been shut down for the unavailability of vaccines.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has again dismissed the reports of vaccine shortage in the country. Even, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has raised fingers over vaccine management in the states, including Odisha.
“The Centre is dispatching replenishments to the states as per their requirements. We have no role in the distribution of vaccines on the ground. The vaccine management is in the domain of states,” said a statement of Union Health Minister.
VACCINE DEFICIENCY BEHIND SHUTDOWN SYNDROME?
Data with the Union Health Ministry reveals that since January 16, Odisha to date has received a total of 47.94 lakh doses of Covishield and Covaxin.
The consumption, as per vaccination data with the Odisha Health Department, in the State to date stood at over 42.03 lakh. The remaining vaccine doses in the State is thus estimated at around 5.9 lakh, including nearly 78k Covaixn doses.
Since April 1, Odisha on average has been vaccinating at a rate of over 1.73 lakh per day, the stock will last in the State for nearly 3 days, shows an estimate.
Moreover, highly placed sources in Union Health Ministry informed that nearly 5.4 lakh doses either in a single or in two phases will be dispatched to Odisha in the next 48-hours.
WHY THEN 900 CENTRES WERE SHUTDOWN?
“In the wake of the sudden surge in cases in many districts like Nuapada, Kalahandi, Sundargarh, Cuttack and Khurda, the State Health Department on a priority basis has decided to focus vaccination in the hotspot districts,” said a senior NRHM official.
He further added that in the changed scenario, in order to keep the corona curve in control, the vaccination base in the districts have been enlarged.
“The people in the highly-affected districts are very eager to take the jab and offline vaccination are being done in many such districts. This change in strategy is a major reason behind the shutdown of vaccination centres in some low-risk districts,” he explained.
THE ‘TIKA UTSAV’ IN ODISHA
As of today, the State has vaccinated a massive over 6.4 lakh persons, including 2.64 lakh healthcare workers, 1.48 lakh frontline workers and 1.12 lakh 60-plus.
The total vaccinated people in the State now stood at around 5.5 per cent of the total targeted population of 1.16 crore.
The segment wise vaccination rate is as follows:
HEALTHCARE WORKERS: From January 16 to date, Odisha has vaccinated over 75 per cent of its healthcare workers. In the wake of the fast and furious second wave, the rate needs to be pegged up further, feel health experts.
FRONTLINE WORKERS: The proportion of frontline workers who have been vaccinated in the State stood at around 77 per cent.
ELDERLY POPULATION (60+): The vaccination rate of the 60+ population is very poor in Odisha. As of today, over 1.12 lakh or a mere 6 per cent of the over 18.5 lakh elderly population in the State have been vaccinated (means 2 doses given).
THE 45-59 POPULATION: From April 1 to date, a total of over 6.8 lakh jabs have been administered to persons in the age group. Over 5,291 people in the age group who have co-morbidities have been completely vaccinated to date (means 2-doses taken).
The challenge for the State government seems huge as the age group has a total population of over 61 lakh. The full vaccination rate now stood at a measly 0.08 per cent.
THE BOTTOMLINE: However, if the objective of the vaccination exercise in the State is to achieve herd immunity, which as per WHO and US-based CDC is around 70 per cent of the population, then the vaccination target for Odisha will see a quantum jump to over 3.42 crore from the current target of 1.16 crore – means 3-times the present target.
As per highly placed sources, the Union Health Ministry may decide for 70 per cent vaccination in the country in the coming winter (Nov-Dec), when the country will have an array of nearly 5 vaccines from 2 at present.