Odisha : Free vaccination drive for above 18 yrs may be delayed

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Bhubaneswar: Even as the Odisha Chief Minister announced free vaccine for all above 18 years of age from May 1, uncertainty looms large over commencement of the drive owing to non-availability of vaccines.

Following the announcement of free vaccination, the Odisha government has ordered 3.44 Crore Covishield and 10.34 lakh Covaxin from the manufacturers. However, according to the sources, the vaccine manufacturers- Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech have conveyed their inability to supply the jabs in time.

“The possibility of Covishield vaccine reaching in Odisha in the month of  May is very less. Covaxin is likely to reach the state in mid of May. The third phase vaccination will commence only after arrival of the vaccines   in the state. We have already written to the manufacturer of Covishield for supply of the vaccine,” said Odisha Helath and Family Welfare Director Bijay Panigrahi.

“Registration for the vaccination will begin tomorrow. All eligible can register themselves on CoWIN portal. However, slot of appointment will not be allotted for the time being. We will allot slots through the portal once the vaccines are available with us.  The beneficiaries can visit the designated centre to get the vaccine jab” he added.

On current stock of vaccines, Panigrahi said the amount of vaccine doses currently available in the state will last for two to three days.

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