Odisha Readies To Administer Free COVID Precaution Dose At 2500 Centres From Tomorrow

Bhubaneswar: With the Centre deciding to give free booster shots of the COVID vaccine to all in the 18-59 age group at government vaccination centres, the Odisha government has accelerated its preparation for the 75-day special drive, aimed at boosting the uptake of COVID precaution doses, from Friday as part of the government’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

“Free booster doses will be made available at 2,500 vaccination centres. While there are adequate health workers to administer the booster doses to beneficiaries, we do not have enough stock of vaccines and the Centre will be informed about it,” said Health and Family Welfare Director Bijay Panigrahi on Thursday.

Since COVID cases are increasing, the stress is on vaccination for all age groups, he added.

Panigrahi said that about 98 per cent of children between in 12 to 14 age group have been inoculated with the first dose while 72 per cent have been fully vaccinated.  Likewise, about 92 per cent of children aged 15 to 17 have received the first shot and 82 per cent both doses. Besides, 96 per cent of adults above the age of 18 have received the first dose of vaccination and 90 per cent the second dose.

He said that much importance is being given to precaution doses amid the rising cases. “About 28 per cent healthcare workers, frontline workers and senior citizens have been given precautionary doses,” he maintained.

To improve the vaccination coverage, frontline workers are also conducting door-to-door Har Ghar Dastak campaign.

Notably, Odisha had topped the country with 90.5 per cent of full immunization coverage in June.

Welcoming the Centre’s announcement to provide precaution dose to all adults for free, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged people to get vaccinated for a COVID-free Odisha.

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