COVID-19 Vaccine: Odisha asks for Rs 33 Crore aid from Centre

The Odisha government has asked for Rs 33.5 crore assistance from the centre for the management of the cold chain and logistics required for the storage of COVID-19 vaccine in the state. The first phase of vaccination, once available, will be given to the healthcare workers, elderly persons, and pregnant women.

The state requires 936 small ice-lined refrigerators (ILRs), 70 large ILRs, 30 large deep freezers, 7,331 needle-cum-hub cutter, 506 sharp pits, 1,473 data loggers, two walk-in coolers, and two 15 KVA generators besides 10 crore syringes if the centre were to not provide them along with the vaccine.

Additional Chief Secretary of Health department, PK Mohapatra said that the logistic requirements have been submitted and the Union Health Ministry has been requested to provide financial assistance.

“The State government will take a final call after receiving communication from the Centre on vaccine delivery timelines and coverage of other groups. The vaccination for the entire population will be conducted in phases. The process may take months to be completed as it involves huge manpower and logistic support,” he said.

As per directions from the Ministry, the database of healthcare workers (HCWs) has been prepared. The uploading of the same is being done on a trial version of the COVID vaccine portal. It will be finalised once the portal is ready.

The state has already prepared a map of the vaccinators and session sites. Initially, 3,17,692 healthcare workers associated with 3,989 health facilities will be vaccinated. They include doctors, paramedics, and Anganwadi workers.

For the smooth execution, the government has constituted a state-level Steering Committee, State Task Force, and District Task Force. Under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, the State Steering Committee will have its first meeting on Friday.

Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced that elderly persons aged above 60 and expectant mothers will be given priority during the first phase of vaccination along with the healthcare workers.

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