Odisha's allegation of discrimination in vaccine supply 'not tenable': Centre

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Bhubaneswar, Mar 27 (PTI) Terming Odisha government's allegation of 'discretion and erratic' supply of COVID-19 vaccines to the state as 'not tenable', the Centre on Saturday said that vaccine stocks will not be a limiting factor for acceleration of the pace of vaccination in the state.

Union Health Secretary, Rajesh Bhusan in a letter to Odisha's Additional Chief Secretary, Health Department, P K Mohapatra said: 'You would agree that the argument of discretion and erratic supply of vaccines as made in your letter is not tenable.' 'I would like to reassure you again that vaccine stocks will not be a limiting factor for acceleration of the pace of vaccination in Odisha and adequate quantities of vaccines will be provided to the state based on continuous review of available stocks and pace of vaccination,' Buhusan wrote to Mohapatra.

The Odisha government on Friday had raised questions on the 'insufficient and erratic' supply of vaccines to the state and urged the Centre not to discriminate states while supplying the vaccines.

Bhushan in his letter mentioned that as on March 27, 2021, a total of 34,46,760 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were supplied to Odisha, out of which a total of 21,67,956 eligible beneficiaries have been vaccinated which translates to consumption of about 22,97,431 doses resulting in a balance of 11,49,329 doses available with the state.

A total of 2,07,229 beneficiaries have been vaccinated in the last three days resulting in a daily average vaccination rate of 69,076 beneficiaries, Bhushan said.

He also stated that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has been constantly reviewing daily and allocating vaccines based on the progress of vaccination in all states and UTs including Odisha.

The MoHFW has already allocated an additional supply of 5,48,250 doses, which will reach Odisha on March 28, 2021, he informed.

Meanwhile, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in a series of tweets said that he had taken up the Odisha government's concern with his counterpart in the Health and Family Welfare Ministry who has assured him (Pradhan) that there is no dearth in availability of doses of COVID-19 vaccines to states.

'There will be no shortage of vaccines in Odisha or anywhere in the country,' Pradhan said in a twitter post.

In his letter to Bhushan on Friday, Mohapatra had urged the Centre to supply at least 15 days vaccine requirement in advance to Odisha for uninterrupted inoculation drive. The state had set a target to administer jabs to 2 lakh people per day. PTI AAM RG RG