Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ramp up vaccine production in the country and made them available outside the Government 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.
In a letter written to the Prime Minister Friday, Naveen said that the states and the Centre have to work together as a team to face this unprecedented COVID crisis. “Odisha has till date administered about 47 lakh COVID vaccine doses to healthcare workers, frontline workers and persons above 45 years. We have one of the lowest rates of wastage in the country. We have a capacity to administer more than 3 lakh doses every day. We are getting huge response from people to get vaccinated. However, intermittent supply is creating a challenge in meeting the demand. It is in this backdrop that I had requested for 25 iakh vaccine doses to help us administer 3 lakh doses every day. Even at full capacity, it will take us 160 days to fully vaccinate the eligible population of our state [above 45 years].”
As a good statesman having a national perspective, Naveen has written the prime Minister that 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.
He also urged Modi that the 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.
In the letter, Naveen also said that, at an appropriate time, adequate quantity of vaccines should be made available for the States to procure and scale up their vaccination process.