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COVID-19 jab scarcity: Odisha halts vaccination at 1,035 sites

The vaccination drive could not be taken up in rural Odisha due to the scarcity of Covishield stocks

April 18, 2021 / 07:52 AM IST
File image of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik: Patnaik in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue of intermittent supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the state which is creating a challenge in meeting the demand

File image of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik: Patnaik in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue of intermittent supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the state which is creating a challenge in meeting the demand

Facing acute shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, the Odisha government halted its inoculation drive on April 17 at more than 1,000 session sites, including in the hotspot Nuapada district, a senior health department official said.

The states vaccine stocks will be exhausted in two days, Family Welfare Director Bijay Panigrahi said.

Only 56,472 people were given jabs at 465 session sites on April 17, against 91,195 who had been vaccinated in 781 centres the previous day, he said, adding that the state has so far vaccinated 49,58,447 people.

Panigrahi said that the vaccination drive could not be taken up in rural Odisha due to the scarcity of Covishield stocks. Covaxin is only being administered in Bhubaneswar, while the rest of Odisha gets only Covishield.

Vaccination in all session sites in Koraput, Nuapada and Jharsuguda, as well as the urban areas of Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri has been stopped due to the non-availability of doses, he said.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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These 10 districts, which share borders with other states, have been the worst hit during the second wave of COVID-19 in Odisha.

A senior official in the Health and Family Welfare department said Odisha has planned a total 427 session sites in 1,500 centres. But no session site has been planned in the districts of Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Rayagada, Sambalpur and Subarnapur.

Earlier in the day Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue of intermittent supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the state which is creating a challenge in meeting the demand in Odisha.

Patnaik had earlier sought 25 lakh vaccine doses to increase the daily vaccination target to 3 lakh a day in Odisha.
PTI
first published: Apr 18, 2021 07:52 am

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