Facing an acute shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, the Odisha government Saturday halted its inoculation drive in over 1,000 session sites including in the hotspot Nuapada district, a senior health department official said. The state’s vaccine stocks will be exhausted in two days, Family Welfare Director Bijay Panigrahi said.
Only 56,472 people were given jabs at 465 session sites on Saturday against 91,195 who had been vaccinated in 781 centres on Friday, he said.
The state has so far vaccinated 49,58,447 people, the health department official said. Panigrahi said that the vaccination drive could not be taken up in rural Odisha due to the scarcity of Covishield vaccines.
Covaxin is being administered in Bhubaneswar, while it is Covishield in the rest of the state.
Vaccination in all session sites in Koraput, Nuapada and Jharsuguda, as well as the urban areas of Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri has been stopped due to the non-availability of
doses, he said.
These ten districts, which share borders with other states, have been the worst hit during the second wave of COVID-19 in Odisha. A senior official in the Health and Family Welfare department said that the state has planned a total of 427 session sites in 1500 centers. But no session site has been planned in the districts of Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Koraput,
Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Rayagada, Sambalpur and Subarnapur.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue of intermittent supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the state which is creating a challenge in meeting the demand in the state.
Patnaik had earlier sought 25 lakh vaccine doses to increase the daily vaccination target to 3 lakh a day in Odisha.