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Dilip Kumar

Bhubaneswar: The third phase vaccination drive kicked off today in Bhubaneswar for the age group of 18 and 44. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has initiated the exercise as decided earlier after receiving 1.5 doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech.

Those, who have registered themselves on Cowin portal and got the slot, have taken the jab at their respective vaccination centres. The Civic body has set a target to vaccinate as many as 5 lakh people. All the beneficiaries from this group will be given the second doses by the end of June or first of July.

The inoculation programme, which started from 8 am, will continue till 1 pm for 18-44 age group while the beneficiaries above 45 will get the jab between 3 pm and 6 pm at the same sites.

Youth masses were seen queuing up at different vaccination sites in Bhubaneswar under scorching heat while waiting for their turn.

“I am standing here in the long queue since morning. There is no shed here to avoid the heat wave but I am excited to receive the shot and have no vaccine hesitancy as my parents have already taken it,” a young woman said at vaccination centre.

Another youth also expressed his keenness for the vaccine. He said, “I was waiting for the mass vaccination drive and finally the government announced it. Today is that most-awaited day. We all should take the opportunity and be a part in the fight against Covid-19,” he added.

“We have brought our photo identity like Aadhar card along with the slot reference which we received after registration,” he added.
On the other hand, the vaccination drive could not be carried out at some places and those supposed to take their second dose have been deprived of the benefit due to vaccine shortfall.

“We are yet to receive the vaccine from the State government. The centre has not yet sent the required number doses for the same. As soon as we get the call from the State authorities, we will immediately rush to Bhubaneswar for the vaccine and start the exercise,” Balasore Chief District Medical Officer, Dulasen Jagdev said.

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