Dilip Kumar

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to stop providing Covid-19 vaccines to private hospitalS from May 1 as the State is scheduled to launch vaccination for all above 18 years as per the central government’s guidelines.

Addressing the reporters, Health Director Bijay Panigrahi on Friday said that the private hospitals have to procure the vaccines directly from the pharma companies after May 1.

He further said State government will take a call on the procurement of vaccines for the mass inoculation drive for all above 18 years from May 1. The government of India will also issue detailed guidelines which are yet to come, he informed.

“The price of vaccine has been priced at Rs 600 for private firms, excluding transportation. The State government has no control over it,” he said. The price of the vaccine shot will also be available for the beneficiaries on the registration App and website.

Amid growing concerns over the efficacy of vaccine, the Health director clarified that chances of infection usually come down after the second dose.

“As many as 50 people have tested positive after taking the vaccine but most of such cases were detected between the first and second of vaccine. The chance of infection is very low after the second dose,” he claimed.

Informing about the vaccination drive, he said that the exercise would continue every day except Saturday and Sunday. On these two days, the vaccination sites will be sanitized.

As many as 81684 people had taken the jab yesterday at 778 centres across the State, pushing the cumulative tally of vaccinated persons to 54,41,478. The State has a stock of 1.90 lakh Covishield vaccines and 3.80 Covaxin which will last two more days.

Meanwhile, the State government has targeted to ramp up testing to 50,000 samples on daily basis. Currently, 43,000 to 45,000 samples are being tested daily, Public Health director Niranjan Mishra said.

As many as 11,000 beds are available in state hospitals out of which 2700 have been occupied by Covid patients. As the private hospitals have been asked to reserve 50% beds for the Covid patients, a technical team has been formed to keep a close watch on it.

The hospitals, both government and private, have been asked to arrange separate fever wards to prevent cross infections, he said.