• otv
Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Underlining the importance of Centre and States working together as a team to face Covid crisis, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to scale up vaccination drive across the country.

In a letter to PM Modi, Patnaik has also raised the issue of intermittent supply of Covid-19 vaccine which is creating a challenge in meeting the demand in the State.

It is pertinent to mention here that Patnaik had earlier placed a demand of 25 lakh vaccine doses before the Centre so as to administer 3 lakh doses to people every day in the State.

Odisha, till date, has administered about 47 lakh COVID vaccine doses to healthcare workers, frontline workers and persons above 45 years. In his letter, Patnaik claimed that Odisha has one of the lowest rates of wastage in the country and it has the capacity to administer more than 3 lakh doses every day.

“We are getting huge response from people to get vaccinated. However, intermittent supply is creating a challenge in meeting the demand. It is in this backdrop that I had requested for 25 lakh vaccine doses to help us administer 3 lakh doses every day. Even at full capacity it will take us 160 days to fully vaccinate the eligible population of our state (above 45 years). I am sure that the Union Govt. would be planning to scale up the Vaccination drive and to widen its scope,” the letter read.

In his letter, Patnaik has also suggested several measures for the immediate consideration by the Prime Minister. They include:

– COVID-19 vaccines may be made available outside the government supply chain in the open market so that willing citizens who can afford the vaccine can avail them. This will help governments to have a focused approach towards vulnerable sections of the society.

– COVID vaccines that have been already approved globally by credible agencies and governments may be accorded approval to increase supply.

– India has a huge vaccine manufacturing potential and the Centre and States should support units to ramp up vaccine production. As this is an extraordinary situation our governments should run the extra mile in this regard.

– The few metropolitan cities which contribute the highest COVID cases should be allowed priority vaccination and flexibility in age criteria as these are economic nerve centres of the country, and any lockdown in these areas will have an impact on the rest of the country in terms of labour movement. At an appropriate time, adequate quantity of vaccines should be made available for the States to procure and scale up their vaccination process.

(Edited By Pradeep Singh)

Other Stories