Berhampur: As part of the vaccination drive against COVID-19, the Ganjam district administration will start giving Covaxin jabs to eligible recipients from Monday.
Till now, Covaxin was limited to Bhubaneswar while Covishield was available for the rest of the state.
However, the decision to introduce Covaxin in Ganjam was taken as the district has the highest number of urban local bodies (ULBs), official sources said.
Ganjam Collector Vijay Amrit Kulange, Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) Commissioner Sidheswar Baliram Bondore and the Chief District Medical Officer have discussed the issue of smooth transition to Covaxin with senior officials of the Health Department.
The sources informed that Ganjam received 1.40 lakh doses of Covaxin and 85,000 Covishield doses on Saturday night.
Out of the 26,38,132 people who are targeted to receive COVID vaccines in Ganjam, 10,44,879 have already received both shots of Covishield. Of the rest, 9,11, 671 have been administered the first dose,
Since Covishield and Covaxin are not interchangeable, district health officials were instructed to plan for introduction of Covaxin and orient all the health personnel concerned to ensure that the beneficiaries vaccinated with Covishield (first dose) are inoculated with the same vaccine for the second dose.
Only the eligible recipients taking the first shot will be given Covaxin.
While online slots are open for booking of the second dose of Covishield, the slots for the first dose of Covaxin would be open at 6 pm on Sunday.
The administration has informed people that they can either book slots online or visit the nearest vaccination centres directly for on the spot vaccination.
In Berhampur, 12 vaccination centres will be open on Monday. Out of these, four centres —VV Giri Mahila Secondary Training School, Engineering School, Gurukul International Public School and Ram Lingam Park — are dedicated to recipients of the second dose of Covishield. Each of these four centres were allocated 600 doses of Covashield.
Another 8 vaccination centres are dedicated to the first dose of Covaxin. These centres are Urban Public Health Centres (UPHC) at Aga Sahi, Ambapua, Aska Road, Baikuntha Nagar, Goodshed Road, Uttarmukhi, Khodasingi and Red Cross UPHC. Each of these eight centres were allocated 300 doses of Covaxin.
The beneficiaries should maintain COVID appropriate behaviour like wearing of masks and maintaining social distance while visiting the centres, officials said.