Odisha halts vaccination drive in 11 districts due to ‘shortage’ of Covishield doses

Bhubaneswar, Jun 30 (PTI) The Odisha government on Wednesday stopped the COVID-19 vaccination drive in 11 districts due to an “acute shortage” of Covishield doses, officials said.

The inoculation exercise was temporarily halted during the day in Angul, Bolangir, Balasore, Bhadrak, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Kendrapara, Koraput and Sonepur , they said.

The authorities were administering over 3 lakh doses of the vaccines to eligible beneficiaries every day since June 21 after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had asked officials to accelerate the inoculation process before the possible third wave of COVID-19. But, the health department was able to give only 1.18 lakh jabs on Tuesday, an official said.

Covaxin is being administered to people in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation area, while Covishield vaccine is being used in other parts of the state.

“On Tuesday, no vaccination drive was conducted in Kendrapara and Balasore. Today, the authorities stopped the immunisation programme in 11 districts due to the acute shortage of doses. The state has a stock of 38,380 vials of Covishield till this morning, and the next allocation is likely to be made on July 2,” another health department official said.

Health and Family Welfare Minister N K Das had recently requested the Centre to allocate at least 6 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine to carry out the immunisation programme smoothly in June, the officials said.

Odisha has so far administered over 1.18 crore doses of vaccines, they said. The state on Wednesday reported 3,371 fresh coronavirus cases, which pushed the tally to 9,09,800. At least 48 more fatalities due to the infection raised the death toll to 4,018.

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