Odisha to start COVID-19 vaccination shortly: DMET

Bhubaneswar: With approval of two COVID vaccines from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), the vaccination programme will commence shortly in Odisha, informed the Directorate of Medical Education And Training (DMET) Director Dr CBK Mohanty today.

“As soon as the vaccines will reach Odisha, we will start roll-out and administration to millions here on short notice,” Dr Mohanty told reporters.

Two vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin — have been approved in India for emergency use. While Covishield developed by Serum Institute of India in collaboration with Oxford-AstraZeneca is said to be 70 to 90 percent effective to protect a person from novel coronavirus, the interim report says that Covaxin that is under third phase trial will be 90 to 95 percent.

As per decision, the Centre will start administering Covishield to people shortlisted for the vaccine, Dr Mohanty said adding, “As many as 5 crore vaccines are currently available with the Serum Institute of India. However, the State is not entitled to get those directly. It will be procured by the Centre. We will begin the vaccination programme as soon as the vaccines reach the State because we have already completed dry run programme.”

It is worth mentioning that the DCGI V.G. Somani on Sunday has approved Serum Institute of India’s ‘Covishield’ vaccine and Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’, paving the way for their roll-out and administration to people of the country.

The Centre is planning to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of drive in the next six to eight months.

The vaccine will be first offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with two crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with co-morbidities. In Odisha, a total of 3.2 lakh health workers have been selected for getting the vaccine in the first phase.

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