50% Sites Run Dry In Odisha: CM Urges PM Modi To Allow Sale Of COVID-19 Vaccines In Open Market

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the Centre to allow the sale of COVID-19 vaccines in the open market.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he wrote: “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 the society.”

Naveen also requested PM Modi to ensure an adequate supply of the vaccines to states to scale up the vaccination drive. “The vaccines that have already approved globally by credible agencies and governments may be accorded approval to increase supply,” he said.

The CM informed that Odisha had administered about 47 lakh 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 the capacity to administer more than 3 lakh doses every day. We are getting huge response from people to get vaccinated. However, intermittent supply is creating a challenge in meeting the demand. It is in this backdrop that 1 had requested for 25 lakh doses to help us administer 3 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),” he wrote.

Meanwhile, the vaccination was badly affected on Friday and the number of inoculations came down to only around 91,195 from over two lakh a few days earlier. Only 781 of 1,476 session sites were open for inoculation in 29 districts and it was a no vaccination day for Koraput district due to the non-availability of doses.

This forced the government to suspend the vaccination drive in the urban areas of 10 districts, bordering Chhattisgarh, during weekends until further order.

In his letter, Naveen further said that India had a huge vaccine manufacturing potential and the Centre and states should support units to ramp up vaccine production. “The few metropolitan cities which contribute the highest COVID cases should be allowed priority vaccination and flexibility in age criteria as these are economic nerve scenes of the country, and any lockdown in these areas will have an impact on the rest of the country in terms of the labour movement,” he added.

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