By Express News Service
BHUBANESWAR: Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has mocked the Centre and Odisha for Covid vaccine shortage in the state.
As the vaccination in the State has been disrupted due to inadequate supply, in a series of tweets, the veteran Congress leader stated that 24 out of 30 districts in Odisha have run out of vaccines.
“Odisha has reported that 24 out of 30 districts have run out of vaccines. Once again, vaccination has been suspended at several centres in Tamil Nadu because they have run out of vaccines. What has the Central government that dismissed complaints of vaccine shortage got to say now?” he asked.
Terming that Odisha is governed by the BJD, an “ally” of the BJP, Chidambaram wrote that the first task of the new Health Minister Mansukh Mandviya will be to ensure adequate and uninterrupted supply of vaccines to all States.
Vaccine shortage is a FACT. Vaccine production is EXAGGERATED. Vaccine import is a MYSTERY. Vaccinating the entire adult population by December 2021 is an empty BOASTWill the new Health Minister @mansukhmandviya tell the nation the truth about the vaccination programme?
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) July 13, 2021
“Vaccine shortage is a FACT. Vaccine production is EXAGGERATED. Vaccine import is a MYSTERY. Vaccinating the entire adult population by December 2021 is an empty BOAST,” he tweeted.
Even as the BJD claims to have been maintaining equidistance from both the national parties ever since it parted ways with BJP in 2009, the Congress continues to accuse the two parties of having an ‘unholy alliance’ owing to the bonhomie they share on different occasions.
Health department sources said the inoculation drive in the State has been affected in almost all districts barring Ganjam and Bhubaneswar due to a shortage of Covishield vaccine. The inoculation has also dropped from a level of four lakh doses on July 5 to 50,000 now.
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While the vaccination was stopped in 24 districts on Monday, it was halted in 15 districts on Tuesday. Only 97 sessions have been planned in 15 districts and there is no vaccination in Angul, Balasore, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Gajapati, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Kendrapara, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nayagarh, Nuapada, and Sambalpur.
The State government has flagged the vaccine shortage several times and requested the Union Health Ministry to supply at least 15 lakh more doses of Covishield this month over and above the proposed allocation of 25.31 lakh doses.
“Around 28.31 lakh beneficiaries are due for a second dose in July. Districts have been asked to prioritise the second dose. The vaccination target can be achieved only if the supply is streamlined. We hope to get more doses in the coming days,” said Additional Chief Secretary of Health PK Mohapatra.
The inoculation is expected to gain momentum from Wednesday as Odisha has received 3,16,470 doses of Covishield on Monday. It has a stock of 3,49,930 doses of Covishield and 3,09,530 doses of Covaxin. The State has administered 1,35,49,900 doses. As many as 1,08,09,466 people have got a single dose and 27,40,434 have been fully vaccinated.