Odisha CM urges PM to allow sale of COVID-19 vaccines in open market

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to allow sale of COVID-19 vaccines outside Government supply chain in the open market so that people, who can afford, will be able to avail them.

Selling of the vaccines in open market will help the Governments have a focused approach towards vulnerable sections of the society, Patnaik said in the letter.

He also urged the PM that vaccines that have been already approved globally by credible agencies and Governments be accorded approval to increase supply.

India has a huge manufacturing potential and the Centre and states should support units to ramp up vaccine production. As this is an extraordinary situation, our Governments should run the extra mile in this regard.

The CM further recommended that few metropolitan cities which contribute the highest COVID cases should be allowed priority vaccination and flexibility in age criteria as these are economic nerve centres of the country, and any lockdown in these areas will have an impact on the rest of the country in terms of labour movement.

At an appropriate time, adequate quantity of vaccines should be made available for the state to procure and scale up their vaccination process. I am sure with our  continued cooperation, India will be able to fight the situation and save people’s lives.

Highlighting vaccine shortage in Odisha, the CM said the state has a capacity to administer more than three lakh doses every day. Though there has been overwhelming response from the public, intermittent supply is creating a challenge in meeting the demand.

“In this backdrop, I had requested  for 25 lakh vaccine doses to help us administer three lakh doses every day. Even at full capacity, it will take us 160 das to fully vaccinate the eligible population of our state (above 45 years),” Patnaik stressed.

So far, Odisha had vaccinated 47 lakh people, including healthcare workers, frontline workers and persons aged above 45 years, he added.

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