Other States

Odisha to float global tender for vaccine procurement

A medic inoculates a beneficiary with the second dose of covid-19 vaccine, in Bhubaneswar, Saturday, May 8, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

With vaccine shortage hampering the drive in Odisha, the Cabinet on Monday decided to float global tender to procure vaccines from international companies.

The Cabinet meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik discussed the COVID-19 situation at length and approved the proposal for procurement from the international market.

“Countries like Israel have returned to normalcy after mass vaccination. In our State, the health or frontline workers, who have taken two doses, are no more contracting the virus. Vaccination is the way out to win the war against the pandemic and it can help us face the next waves,” said Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra after the Cabinet meeting.

Mr. Mohapatra said, “The Cabinet backed the government in its efforts to vaccinate all and ensure return of normalcy in the State.”

A technical committee would be constituted to expedite the process. The step was aimed at vaccinating the vulnerable population and restoration of normalcy and the livelihood of people, he said.

“It was also decided that the Odisha government would move the Centre urging to waive all taxes on vaccine and share the cess and surcharges collected by it with the State governments. It would lessen the financial burden on the States in fighting the pandemic,” he said.

While praising the efforts of the COVID-19 warriors, who are combating the pandemic day-in and day-out, the Cabinet urged people to wear mask and not to venture out unless there is an emergency.

Huge problem

The government is facing a huge problem in carrying out vaccination due to shortage. As on May 9, Odisha has 2,69,630 doses Covishield left for people above 45 and 1,00,000 doses for those between 18 and 44. There are 3,42,300 doses of Covaxin administered only in Bhubaneswar, for people above 45 and 1,06,280 doses for those below 45.

Of late, huge crowds are observed outside the vaccination sites. People, whose second dose is due, are even forced to return home without getting vaccinated due to limited Covishield stock. The government is unable to roll out vaccination for people aged between 18 and 44. The facility is available only in four major cities.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 10:59:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-to-float-global-tender-for-vaccine-procurement/article34529452.ece

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