Vaccination Drive Halts in Odisha Due to Supply Shortage

The vaccination drive for ages 18 to 44 years is scheduled to start from May 1 but the Odisha government is uncertain whether this will begin on time. The State is facing a shortage of doses and is yet to be communicated about the schedule of vaccine dispatches by the manufacturers.

Odisha government’s Health and Family Welfare department has placed orders for 3.77 crore doses of Covishield and 10.34 lakh doses of Covaxin for its estimated 1.93 crore beneficiaries who are aged 18 to 44 years.

The State has ordered around five lakh doses of Covaxin to be delivered in May and the rest 5.34 lakh by June 15. Similarly, the Health Department has asked for 40 lakh doses of Covishield to be delivered in May and 60 lakh doses each in June, July, and August.

“Inoculation will remain suspended on May 1 and 2 for the weekly shutdown. We will roll out the vaccination for 18 years plus at Bhubaneswar on May 3 if the expected doses are received by then”, said PK Mohapatra, Additional Chief Secretary of Health department.

As per reports, the State expects to receive at least one lakh doses from Bharat Biotech in the next few days, but no assurance has been received from the Serum Institute of India (SII).

The vaccination of people of 45 years and above is yet to be complete in many states due to a shortage of doses. In Odisha, the inoculation of this age group has not been conducted in 12 districts – Balasore, Bhadrak, Boudh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Koraput, Mayurbhanj, Puri, and Khurda (excluding Bhubaneswar).

“We are unable to conduct second dose vaccination due to the shortage of vaccine. We need at least seven lakh doses of Covishield in the next three days”, said Dr. Bijay Panigrahi, Director of Family Welfare.

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