Amid COVID-19 Surge, Odisha Faces Vaccine Shortage!

Bhubaneswar: Amid rising cases, depleting stock of COVID-19 vaccine has become a cause of concern for Odisha.

The Odisha government has twice flagged its concern during the meeting with the Centre for an early supply of the vaccines to keep the process going, this week.

On March 12, Director, Family Welfare, Bijay Panigrahi wrote to the Centre for 10 lakh doses of Covishield by March 18. It had sought an early supply of the vaccine, stating that uninterrupted sessions would last for only 10 days (till March 19).

Again on Wednesday, the health department requested the Centre for another 25 lakh doses within two to three days. “We can conduct sessions for a maximum of six days with the available stock of vaccine at all cold chain points in the state,” Panigrahi wrote.

Additional Chief Secretary (Health) P K Mohapatra told The Times of India that the state is not in a position to plan sessions for the next fortnight with the available stock. “The Health Ministry has asked us to wait till Monday for the issue to be resolved,” he added.

The uncertainty can severely impact the state’s plan to cover two lakh people a day.

Odisha has so far received 25 lakh doses of the vaccine of which 2.5 lakh are Covaxin. A total of 1688674 people – healthcare workers, frontline workers, senior citizens, those above 45 years with co-morbidities – have been inoculated.

If this was not enough, the daily COVID caseload in the state crossed 100 on Friday with Cuttack and Khurda districts reporting the bulk of the new infections.


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