Bhubaneswar (Odisha), April 17 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the Centre to ensure an adequate supply of COVID-19 vaccines to states and also requested to allow the sale of COVID-19 vaccines in the open market so that willing citizens who can afford the vaccine can avail them.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, Patnaik wrote, "Vaccines may be made 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."
"The vaccines that have been already approved globally by credible agencies and governments may be accorded approval to increase supply," he said.
The Chief Minister also requested PM Modi to ensure an adequate supply of the vaccines to states to scale up the vaccination drive.
The CM informed that Odisha had administered about 47 lakh 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 the capacity to administer more than 3 lakh doses every day. We are getting huge responses 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 lakh 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)," he wrote.
Taking the current situation into account, the Chief Minister further said India had a huge vaccine manufacturing potential and the Centre and states should support units to ramp up vaccine production.
"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 scenes of the country, and any lockdown in these areas will have an impact on the rest of the country in terms of the labour movement," he added. (ANI)