Other States

COVID-19 surge: Odisha CM wants vaccine in open market, priority to big cities

Naveen Patnaik.  

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that COVID-19 vaccines be made available outside the government supply chain in the open market so that willing citizens who can afford vaccines can avail them.

Mr. Patnaik suggested rationalisation in vaccine distribution with a focus on metropolitans who contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the country and cautioned against lockdown in big cities that would have a cascading impact on other areas.

“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 society,” the Chief Minister said, giving a number of suggestions in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister on Friday.

Vaccines already approved globally by credible agencies and governments may be accorded approval to increase supply, he suggested.

Stating that India had a huge vaccine manufacturing potential, Mr. Patnaik said, “the Centre and State should support units to ramp up vaccine production. As this is an extraordinary situation, our government should run the extra mile in this regard.”

Moreover, the Chief Minister said the few metropolitan cities, which report the highest COVID-19 cases, should be allowed priority vaccination and flexibility in the age criteria as these were the economic nerve centres of the country, and any lockdown in these areas would have impact on the rest of the country in terms of labour movement.

Vaccine shortage

Drawing the Prime Minister’s attention on vaccine shortage in Odisha, he said, “the State has till date administered about 47 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses to healthcare workers, frontline workers and persons above 45 years.”

“We have one of the lowest rates of wastage in the country. We have a capacity to administer more than three lakh doses every day. We are getting huge response from people to get vaccinated.”

He said the intermittent supply was 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 three 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),” said Mr. Patnaik.

Meanwhile, the State reported 3,144 new COVID-19 positive cases and four deaths on Saturday.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 11:32:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/covid-19-surge-odisha-cm-wants-vaccine-in-open-market-priority-to-big-cities/article34341688.ece

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