Uptake from 25% allocation to private hospitals is less because of their low presence, CM tells PM

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday demanded an increase in the allocation of vaccines for the State to 95%, and a reduction in the share available to private hospitals to 5%, in order to speed up the COVID-19 inoculation drive in Odisha.

In a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other Chief Ministers, Mr. Patnaik said that due to the low presence of private hospitals in the State, the lifting of vaccines from the 25% private hospitals’ quota had been less.

“We had written to the Centre to increase the allocation to the State government to 95% and reduce the allocation to private hospitals to 5%. This will help us in increasing the pace of vaccination in the State,” he said.

Mr. Patnaik said Odisha had performed very well in vaccination and its wastage was among the lowest in the country.

“I would like to request that the vaccines for the age group of 12-18 years may be prioritised and rolled out at the earliest,” he said, voicing concerns over the anticipated third wave and its impact on children.

Odisha has faced disruption in its COVID-19 vaccination drive due to shortage in the availability of vaccines. This week, vaccination had to be stopped in 24 out of 30 districts as Covishield doses ran out.

As of now, 1,38,09,756 doses, including 1,08,16,744 first doses and 29,93,012 second doses, have been administered in the State.

Currently, the State has stock of 4,61,500 doses of Covishield and 1,79,590 doses of Covaxin, which are grossly inadequate to carry out vaccination at the pace the State government had announced after a change in the vaccine policy from June 21. The State government had then declared it would inoculate 3 lakh persons per day.

People are now seen standing in long queues to get jabs across the State, especially in rural and semi-urban areas. People requiring their second doses are desperately seeking vaccines.

Mr. Patnaik said the COVID-19 situation in Odisha had improved considerably in last few weeks and cases were currently seen in a few coastal districts. The State government on Thursday announced the continuation of relatively stricter lockdown measures for 10 districts, mostly in the coastal region, for another two weeks.

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