Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government on Tuesday said two committees formed by the Health and Family Welfare department will decide the modalities for import of COVID vaccines from multi-national pharmaceutical companies.
Talking to mediapersons, Director, Health Services Bijay Mohapatra said there is acute shortage of COVID vaccines due to high demand in the country and abroad.
“Due to short supply, the number of daily vaccinations in Odisha, which were around 2.80 lakh earlier, have now come down to around 40,000. Taking all these into consideration, the state government has decided to float global tender so that we may get the vaccines in large quantities from these multinational companies and vaccinate as many people in our state,” he added.
Mohapatra further said for the import of vaccines, the state government has formed a technical committee comprising senior doctors and financial experts and a managerial committee with senior officials as members. The two committees will meet soon to decide on the modality.
Terming the decision of the state government to go for a global tender a welcome step, Dr E Venkata Rao, Principal Investigator in the COVAXIN human trial and Professor in the Department of Community Medicine at Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital said the shortage of vaccines across the globe is due to the mismatch in demand and supply.
“When the vaccination programme was rolled out, we had enough stock of vaccines and fewer number of people were coming forward to take the jab as they had the apprehension that the vaccines are not safe. But, as the pandemic became severe during the second wave, people have now turned up in large numbers to get vaccinated out of fear,” he pointed out.