Not able to observe Tika Utsav properly due to 'low and uncertain' vaccine supply:Odisha minister

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 12 (PTI) Noting that Odisha has not been able to observe 'Tika Ustav' properly due to 'low and uncertain' supply of vaccines, the state government Monday urged the Centre to urgently provide it at least 25 lakh doses of vaccines as an emergency measure.

This was stated by Odisha Health and Family Welfare Minister N K Das, who wrote the second letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in less than seven days.

'We are unable to observe the tika ustav properly for extremely low and erratic supply of COVID-19 vaccines to the state,' Das said in the letter to Vardhan.

Like the opening day, tika utsav functioned below capacity in Odisha Monday.

A senior official at the Health and Family Welfare department said that as many as 1.40,061 people were inoculated on Monday at 824 vaccination sites.

Inoculation drive was conducted at over 1400 session sites for health workers, frontline workers, senior citizens and people above 45 years.

On Sunday 900 centres out of this remained closed due to non-availability of the vaccine doses.

On monday though the situation was a little better but the special vaccination drive could take place at 824 centres out of over 1400 of them.

Stating that Odisha has received 48,08,650 doses of vaccines comprising 42,71,870 doses of Covisheild and 3,36,780 Covaxin, the minister had said in the morning that presently there is nil stock in state vaccine stores (SVS), region vaccine store (RDS) and district vaccine store (DVS).

However only 1,59,439 doses of Covishield and 71,000 doses of Covaxin are available in the pipeline across the state.

I would like to inform you that on 3rd April, Odisha held 1476 vaccination sessions and vaccinated 2,71,480 beneficiaries in a single day.

'However, since then due to short and uncertain supply of vaccines from union health ministry, we have been forced to close about half (over 700) of our vaccination centres, Das told Vardhan in the letter.

Das also said that 'You will appreciate that with such low and uncertain supplies of vaccines, it is impossible for us to schedule sessions in advance or mobilize people with confidence.' Hence, Das said the states daily utilisation has come down to 1 lakh though Odisha has capacity for doing 3 lakh vaccinations daily.

He said, 'It is requested to urgently supply at least 10 days' stock of Covisheild (25 lakh doses) as an emergency measure to enable us to plan sessions and undertake the vaccination programme effectively.' A senior official of the state health depoartment later in the day said that the state has received 2.71 lakh doses of Covishield Monday.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale asserted that the centre was not discriminating against any state in supply of coronavirus vaccines. PTI AAM SNS SNS