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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: With the novel coronavirus refusing to lie down, instead of getting even more contagious with the new strains, the anxiety that grips every mind is when will m turn to take the vaccine to come?

As per the latest data, to date, a total of 10.42 lakh people in Odisha have taken the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The second dose has been administered to nearly 3.5 lakh. The home-truth here is unless both the doses are taken, one cannot attain full immunity against the contagious virus.

In order to attain herd immunity against the Covid-19, the State have to administer both doses to at least 3.29 crore people as early as possible (Odisha's current population is projected at over 4.7 crores by Census India). As per Lancet and other reputable health research institutes, herd immunity against Covid-19 will be possible only after 60-70 per cent of the population get vaccinated.

In contrast, the total population vaccinated in Odisha with the first dose stands at a mere 2.2 per cent; whereas a meagre 0.7 per cent of the population have received the second dose.

ODISHA'S COVID CONTAINMENT PLAN

Even as the rate of administration of the first dose in Odisha since the beginning of vaccination (Jan15) to date stood at a mere 17,368 per day, the State government has decided to intensify the programme in the State. As a consequence, the Odisha Health Department fixed the daily vaccination rate at 1 lakh. It has also increased the vaccination sites to around 1000.

However, a detailed glance at the vaccination data reveals that Odisha had delivered the first dose to nearly 90,000 people every day since the last two days. But the second dose could be administered to mere 10,000 beneficiaries only.

So how this will pan out for you..

WILL THE WAIT BE LONGER?

It has been observed that at the current vaccination rate, Odisha will deliver the first dose to 3.29 crore people by April 2022. Since the administration of two doses is essential to attain herd immunity, with the rate of around 10,000 per day, the State would take long 9-years to vaccinate around 70 per cent or 3.29 crore population.

WHEN WILL YOUR TURN COME?

In order to vaccinate every citizen in the State, Odisha will take nearly 1.4 years to deliver the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. But with a very slower vaccination rate for the second dose, the State will take a long 12.8 years.

THE BOTTOMLINE

For the Odisha government, the key challenge to attain herd immunity in the State at the earliest lies in fast-tracking the vaccination rate of the second dose.

However, the long timeline to get two doses of vaccine in Odisha has again put the glare on the imperative of adopting COVID appropriate behaviour.

This shows any laxity in adhering to the 'Social Vaccine' - proper usage of mask, handwashing with soap/sanitiser and keeping a 6-ft distance in between in public places - will only lay the red carpet to the nightmares of lockdowns and shutdowns.  

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