Odisha urges Centre to allocate 17 lakh vaccine doses not lifted by pvt. hospitals

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Bhubaneswar, Jul 2 (PTI) The Odisha government on Friday urged the Centre to allocate it over 17 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines not lifted by the states private hospitals in the months of June and July.

Odisha is losing a huge quantity of vaccines allocated for private hospitals in the state as the centre distributed the vaccines in the ratio of 75:25 between the government and the private facilities.

'You are therefore requested to allocate the balance 8,59,060 doses of June and 8,60,140 does of July, 2021 of private hospitals share to the state government, so that our state is not unfairly disadvantaged,' Odishas Additional Chief Secretary P K Mohapatra wrote to the Union H&FW Ministry secretary.

Mohapatra also mentioned in the letter that the presence of private hospitals is very low in Odisha and limited to only 5 per cent of the total health care sector in the state.

Hence, it was apprehended that as per the existing guideline, Odisha will lose out its proportionate share of 25 per cent allocation of vaccines to the private sectors.

In this context, Odishas H&FW Minister N K Das had also urged Union H&FW Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to revise the ratio to 95:5 per cent instead of 75:25 keeping in view the ground reality and the share of the private sector may be handed over to the state government.

Neighbouring Jharkhand has also sought tweaking the ratio to 95:5 in favour of the state.

The ACS said that the states efforts to encourage the private hospitals to procure more vaccines, has also not yielded much result.

While the private hospitals of Odisha were allocated 9,25,560 doses in June, they could procure only 66,500 doses (7.2 per cent) while the remaining 8,59,060 doses could not be lifted.

Similarly, though the private hospitals were allocated 10,16,970 doses in July, they have placed orders for only 1,56,830 doses (15.4 per cent) leaving a balance of 8,60,140 doses.

'In the above circumstances, Odisha is losing a huge quantity of vaccines allocated for private hospitals in the state.

'On the other hand, the state is capable of vaccinating 3.5 lakh beneficiaries per day and allocation of vaccines for Odisha in July is 30,50,910 doses (both Covisheild and Covaxin) only under government of India free supply, which will be consumed within 8 to 10 days', Mohapatra pointed out.

He was justifying the states request to change the vaccine distribution ratio between the government and the private facilities.

Meanwhile, as the state is facing shortage of Covishield vaccine, the government has now decided to inoculate Covaxin doses in the districts of Ganjam.

Earlier, Covaxin was only administered to the people in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation jurisdiction.

In a letter to Ganjam Collector and Berhampur Municipal Commissioner, Mohapatra said the state government has taken a decision to introduce Covaxin vaccine in the district of Ganjam from July 2021 for vaccination of 18 years & above citizens.

Covaxin will be supplied to the district from this month for vaccination of beneficiaries, who have not received any Covid-19 vaccine so far.

'Covishield will be supplied only for the beneficiaries, who have received the first dose and are waiting for the second one', he clarified.

The authorities are told to conduct special sessions to vaccinate only the second dose of Covishield.

Stating that Covishield and Covaxin are not interchangeable, Mohapatra said the officials should be instructed to ensure that only one vaccine (either Covaxin or Covishield) will be inoculated to one person.

Meanwhile, the state during the last two days has received about 10 lakh of vaccines to undertake mass inoculation, which may be exhausted in only three days, official sources said. PTI AAM SNS SNS

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