Odisha receives first consignment of COVID-19 vaccine

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 12 (PTI) Odisha on Tuesday received the first consignment of the COVID-19 vaccine before launch of the vaccination programme across the state from January 16.

A consignment consisting of 34 boxes weighing over 1,200 kg of Covishield vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) arrived at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here on a special flight from Pune via New Delhi, a senior official said.

'The day has finally arrived. We are fully ready for the vaccination drive starting January 16. Our officials received the consignment and took them to the state vaccine centre amidst tight security,' Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, P K Mohapatra said.

The state government had made elaborate security arrangement at the airport and outside before arrival of the special flight carrying the vaccine.

The state government has already asked all the district collectors to send insulated vans for transportation of the vaccines to their respective area, Mohapatra said, adding that the Superintendents of Police are also instructed to ensure safety of the valuable vaccines. The vaccines will further be sent to different centre across Odisha through 1,222 ice-lined vans.

The state has been allotted 4.08 lakh doses of Covishield and 20,000 doses of Covaxin will soon reach in the next phase. While the health workers including doctors, nurses and paramedical staff will be administered vaccines in the first phase, the front line workers like police, para-military and Disaster Management personnel and Revenue Department officials will be vaccinated in the second phase, the official added.

Mohapatra said the state government has furnished a database of 3.28 lakh health workers to the Centre for vaccination in the first phase. The Serum Institute of India (SII) has sent a consignment of 40,800 vials of vaccine having 4.08 lakh doses. Another 30,000 doses of Covaxin of Bharat Biotech have also been dispatched.

Replying a question, Mohapatra said the elderly health workers will be given vaccines on priority basis followed by all of them. The state has already identified 162 vaccination sites where people will get their much desired corona vaccine, he said.

Odisha Health Director and Vaccine In-charge Dr Bijay Panigrahi said though the state has submitted a list of 3.28 lakh health workers for the vaccination in the first phase, their number has so far increased to 3.33 lakh beneficiaries as the registration continued. All of them will be administered the vaccine in the first phase.

'We aim at vaccinating 16,000 people on the first day of the vaccination drive,' he said.

The H&F department informed that the vaccination centres include district headquarters hospitals, sub- divisional hospitals, CHCs (community health centre), PHCs (primary health centre), medical colleges and private hospitals.

Two sites Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar and Sundergarh district headquarters hospital have been identified for the two-ways video conferencing, Panigrahi said, adding that the Centre can take feedback from these two through VC.

Meanwhile, the official said the state government has already conducted a dry run for vaccination twice this month on January 2 and January 8.

In a related development, the Commissionerate of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack cautioned the people to be careful of fraudulent calls in the name of registration for vaccination. Bhubaneswar DCP US Dash said that the police have information regarding fraudsters finding a way to cheat people in the name of vaccines.

Fraudsters have started calling people in the name of registration for COVID-19 vaccine, the DCP said while cautioning people not to share their personal details with anyone to save themselves from being trapped by such fraudsters.

The prime requirement of all cyber fraudsters is to get personal data of the people the DCP said, adding that once the anti-socials get people's personal details, they can easily dupe them in several ways. PTI AAM RG RG