Chemist Association of Odisha Demands Priority Vaccination

The Utkal Chemists and Druggists Association has issued a warning to the government saying that all its members would join the lockdown and weekend shutdowns if they are not certified as ‘frontline Corona warriors’. The association consists of 2,500 members.

P Satyanarayana, the president of Utkal Chemists and Druggists Association, at a press conference said that since the outbreak of Covid-19 last year, the medicine shop owners and their employees have been providing continuous service to people taking great risks.

‘’Our members have been dealing with Covid-19 patients or their relatives directly. In the process, hundreds of our members have lost their lives. Still, we are offering our services without any major demand,’’ stated Satyanarayana.

“We have been demanding that we be regarded as frontline Covid-19 warriors and our family members, staff be vaccinated on a priority basis. We have placed our demand before the Chief Minister and Health Minister on several occasions. But nothing has been done so far by the government. We are considered as emergency service providers during lockdown and weekend shutdowns and yet nothing is done for our protection. If our demands are not met, we will close shops for an indefinite period. The government will be responsible if we are forced to take such a step,” he added.

Notably, the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has notified that they will also join the lockdown, as they were ‘sidelined while considering vaccination priority’. Rajiv Singhal, general secretary AIOCD said that the 9.4 lakh chemists across India would join Corona-induced lockdowns and shutdowns if they are not vaccinated on priority. “Around 675 of our members have died due to Covid-19,” Singhal said.

The Association of Indian Medical Devices Industry too addressed a letter to VK Paul, a member of NITI Aayog, demanding priority allocation of vaccines to employees of medical device companies.

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