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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: With vaccination holding key in the fight against coronavirus, the Odisha government on Friday requested the Centre to allow private hospitals empanelled under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) as COVID-19 vaccination sites.

The move assumes significance as the Odisha government has already started the process of preparing a database of senior citizens, people aged above 45 years and those with other comorbidities for vaccination in the next round of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out on March 1.

In a letter to Union Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhusan, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) PK Mohapatra has urged the latter to grant the necessary permission in this regard.

It is pertinent to mention here that private hospitals empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) have been allowed as Covid-19 vaccination sites by the Centre.

However, Odisha has not adopted the AB-PMJAY which has now emerged as a hurdle in getting permission for private hospitals in the State to start the COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Also Read: Covid Resurge: Odisha Govt Issues Alert On People Coming From 12 States

“As Odisha has not adopted the AB-PMJAY, it is requested that the 183 private hospitals empanelled under our State Health Assurance Scheme- Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) may be kindly allowed to be registered as COVID-19 vaccination session sites,” stated Mohapatra in the letter.

As per plans, the elderly and comorbid people will be administered vaccines following registration as per the guidelines laid down by the Centre. The vaccination centres will be prepared as per the number of beneficiaries who will register their names to take part in the drive.

While vaccination will be free of cost in government hospitals, the prices of vaccination in private hospitals will be fixed by the Centre, said DMET Director CBK Mohanty.

Also Read: Covid Vaccination 2.0: Odisha Creating Database For Senior Citizens, Comorbid Cases

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