Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: While the Serum Institute of India is optimistic about making the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine available for healthcare workers, elderly people by around February 2021 and by April for general public, Odisha Health and Family Welfare Minister, Naba Kishore Das on Friday stated that the State government is ready for a mass vaccination drive to fight the virus.

Talking to reporters ahead of the winter session of Odisha Assembly, Das said that the vaccination drive would be carried out in the State as per the Centre’s guidelines. “Separate committees have been formed for COVID-19 vaccination and the work for preparation of data for the vaccination drive has already begun as per Centre’s guidelines,” said Das.

The minister further informed that already a database of doctors, health workers, elderly, the vulnerable groups and others to be vaccinated in the first phase, is being prepared.

On November 2, Odisha government had announced that around 98 % frontline health and Anganwadi workers had shared information for the preparation of a database of healthcare workers who will be first vaccinated against COVID-19.

The State government had earlier sought information regarding the healthcare workers from around 3,683 institutions, both government and private, across the State. Of them, 3,463 institutions had submitted the required credentials about their employees so far.

The Odisha government has a target to collect data of nearly 3,02,708 healthcare workers. By October 31, the State government had received data of nearly 2,95,349 healthcare workers.

On Thursday, the State government designated a COVID Hospital in Bhubaneswar for treatment of doctors and COVID warriors testing positive for novel coronavirus in the State. As per the latest order issued by the Health and Family Welfare department, Aditya Ashwini COVID-19 Hospital will exclusively treat doctors and COVID-19 warriors if found positive for coronavirus.

(Edited By Devbrat Patnaik)