Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to ensure an adequate supply of Covid vaccines to states to scale up the vaccination drive.
Besides, Patnaik also suggested the PM to consider allowing the sale of Covid-19 vaccine in open market.
Patnaik reminded Modi that he had requested 25 lakh vaccine doses to help the State administer 3 lakh doses every day. However, even at full capacity, the State Government will take 160 days to fully vaccinate the eligible population of the State (above 45 years).
Stating that the Union Government would be planning to scale up the vaccination drive and to widen its scope, the Chief Minister suggested the Prime Minister consider the following.
- COVID-19 Vaccines may be made available outside the Govt. supply chain in the open market so that willing citizens who can afford the vaccine can avail them. This will help Governments to have a focused approach towards vulnerable sections of the society.
- COVID Vaccines that have been already approved globally by credible agencies and Governments may be accorded approval to increase supply.
- India has a huge vaccine 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 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 States to procure and scale up their vaccination process. I am sure with our continued co-operation India will be able to fight this situation and save people’s lives,” said Patnaik.