Senior BJD Lawmaker Debi Prasad Mishra has raised concern over the delay in availability of Covid-19 vaccine in State.Raising the issue during Zero Hour in State Legislative Assembly, Mr.Mishra said that the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan earlier said that COVID-19 vaccine in India will be available by this year end.
But on October 4 the Union Minister pronounced that it will be available by July 2021 only to 20-25 crore people in whole of the country.
Considering this pronounced availability, Odisha having population of 4.37 crore will not be able to cover all the COVID-19 vulnerable population which is matter of concern, said Mr.Mishra .
Although the recovery rate and death rate is comparatively better in Odisha then some other states but taking in to account the number of COVID-19 infected person in last month and the assessment of doctors and scientist during winter the figure of infection may not be visibly low which will give lot of pressure upon COVID Management in the State, apprehended the former Health & Family Welfare Minister.
He said Odisha is proactive in communicating with major vaccine producers like Serum Institute India, which has collaborated with Oxford to produce COVID-19 Vaccine.
State Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has requested to keep Odisha as a priority state for COVID-19 vaccination once necessary clearances are obtained, he added.
As per the department of Bio Technology, WHO and Union Health & Family Welfare Ministry several producers are in various stages of clinical development and Serum Institute of India, Bharat Bio-tech and Zydus Cadila have begun their stage II and III trials.
Besides, Pune-based Gennova, Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech and Aurobindo Pharma will be starting there are human trials by the end of this year.
The Sputnik V being produced by the Gamalaya Institute of Russia will be distributed by Dr.Reddy’s Laboratory in India.
In this scenario the announcement of Union Health Minister statement to do vaccine procurement centrally may not give leverage to the states to have direct engagements with successful vaccine manufacturers to cover its needy number of people.
Mr.Mishra demanded before finalization of plans States are to be taken into confidence as they are the major stake holders, so that the State will chalk out proper plans to cover all vulnerable people in the villages, towns and can be vaccinated with the vaccine to combat COVID-19.
Mr.Mishra also requested Health and family Welfare Minister to re-strategize the vaccine procurement program in view of the delay and low availability of getting vaccine as announced by the Union Minister on October 4.