Free precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccine: Odisha to take up the issue with Centre if needed

Odisha is currently witnessing a spike in daily Covid-19 cases. This has prompted the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday to issue a notification, urging people, traders and other business establishments to adhere to appropriate Covid-19 behaviour.

As per the data shared by the I&PR department, the active Covid-19 case tally in the State now stands at 3,200. The infections are rising in Khordha, Cuttack, Rourkela and Puri. However, the overall Covid-19 situation in the State is under control, said health secretary Nikunj Dhal today.

According to Dhal, the positive cases detected so far have shown mild symptoms. Even though the active cases have reached 3,200, only 1 % of the positive patients are admitted to hospitals while the rest are in home isolation.

The senior health official said that already Covid-19 testing has been increased to 15,000 from 10,000 tests per day which were conducted a month back. There could be some deviation on account of holidays (including Sundays), but attempts are underway to conduct 25,000 tests per day.

When asked if there is any hesitancy among people to take the precaution dose or the third dose of Covid-19 vaccine, Dhal said already the Centre has reduced the gap between the second dose and precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccine to six months for all adults in view of the recommendation by National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).

“The precaution dose of Covid-19 vaccine is being administered free of cost to the frontline warriors and those in the 60-plus age group category. It is the Centre to decide whether precaution dose will be given free of cost to beneficiaries in the 18-59 age group,” said Dhal.

Dhal, however, informed that a high state-level meeting is likely to be held soon. “The matter of free precaution dose will be discussed and if needed we will raise the issue with the Centre.”

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