Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Even as Covid-19 infections keep rising at an alarming proportion in Odisha, alleged shortage of vaccine continues to hit the State hard with the health authorities completely suspending vaccination drive at many centres.

Today the vaccination drive remained completely suspended in three districts–Koraput, Nuapada and Jharsuguda after the centres exhausted their vaccine stock, according to Director of Health and Family Welfare, Bijay Panigrahi.

Panigrahi said the vaccination is also not conducted in urban areas of 10 districts where weekend shutdown has been enforced from today. “Vaccination is underway at 427 centres in the State today,” he said.

The health director said vaccination was held at 781 centres yesterday in wherein 91,195 persons were inoculated. “Till yesterday, we have administered 49,019,75 doses of vaccines in the State,” he said.

Speaking about communication with the Centre regarding supply of vaccine, Panigrahi said, “We have urged the Centre to provide us at least 25 lakh doses of vaccine in a single lot to continue the drive for 10 days. We expect the Union Government to inform us soon about the dispatch of vaccine consignments,” he said.

He said at present the State has 3.6 lakh doses of Covishield and 2.3 lakh doses of Covaxin and accordingly the vaccination is underway.

The health director is optimistic that the restrictions enforced by the government will bring down the rising curve of Covid-19.

“As we are restricting the movement of people and their gatherings, we are hopeful that the spread of infection can be controlled to some extent,” he added.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)