Vaccination drive to continue during lockdown & shutdown in Odisha: Govt

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Bhubaneswar, May 3 (PTI) The Odisha government on Monday said that the inoculation drive will continue during the lockdown and shutdown periods except for Sunday when the COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) would be closed for disinfection.

Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, PK Mohapatra informed the government's decision to all the district and civic body authorities through a letter. He said the statewide lockdown from May 5 to May 19 and weekend shutdown till May 15, will not be a reason to halt vaccination programmes.

The COVID-19 vaccination will continue from Monday to Saturday (including gazetted holidays), he said. However, the sessions will be conducted subject to the availability of vaccines, the ACS (Health) said.

He said though use of vehicles has been restricted during the lockdown period, healthcare workers, front line workers and those taking vaccine can travel to CVCs in their own vehicles/taxis or auto-rickshaws by following the government set guidelines.

Similarly, in a related development, Mohapatra said the beneficiaries who had taken the first dose of COVID vaccine in private hospitals on or before April 30, can take the second jab at government designated COVID vaccination Centres (CVC) free of cost.

He said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has ceased supply of vaccines to private centres from May 1 for which many beneficiaries who had got themselves vaccinated in such sites, can now avail the facility free of cost at government CVCs.

The beneficiaries can also avail the facility at private CVCs being run under the 'Other than Govt of India channel' on payment basis at the price fixed by such CVCs, the letter stated.

The department has asked the district collectors and officials concerned to take steps in this regard.

As total of 59,04,314 persons have so far been inoculated in the state.

The state still faces acute shortage of vaccines as it has only 19,900 doses of Covisheild and 3,15,530 doses of Covaxin vaccines supplied by the Government of India.

This apart, the state's vaccine stock included 1,43,500 Covaxin doses which were procured by the state government for inoculation of people in the age group of 18 years to 44 years.

The state has planned only 123 sessions on Tuesday and no session planned in 11 districts such as Balasore, Bargarh, Boudh, Cuttack, Gajapati, Jagatsinghpur, Kandhamal, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Sambalpur and Subarnapur, a health department official said. PTI AAM RG RG