With a possible third wave of Covid-19 likely to impact children, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday urged PM Modi to vaccinate those in the 12-18 years age group. CM Patnaik proposed that the vaccination for 12-18 years be expedited during a virtual meeting with PM Modi on Friday.

Patnaik’s request for early vaccination came on the back of Zydus Cadila concluding its clinical trials for a DNA vaccine for people in the 12 to 18 age group. Last month, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) chief Dr NK Arora said children above 12 years can be vaccinated against the coronavirus disease in August once the clinical trials are over subject to regulatory approvals.

During the meeting, Patnaik also demanded that 95 per cent of vaccine allocation for Odisha should be given to the state government and the rest 5 per cent to the private hospitals.

“Odisha has been performing very well in vaccination and our wastage is among the lowest in the country. However, due to the low presence of private hospitals in the state, lifting of the vaccines from the 25% quota has been less,” he said. Due to vaccine shortage, Odisha’s pace of vaccination has been inconsistent with some days the vaccination figure dropping below 5,000 while on others over 2 lakh people getting vaccinated.

Regarding the high Test Positivity Ration in coastal districts, Khurda and Cuttack, Patnaik said the TPR is high in coastal districts as they were affected by cyclone Yaas. He said Covid appropriate behaviours got compromised during cyclone Yaas in those districts.

The PM advised Odisha and other states to move forward with the strategy of ‘test, track, treat and tika’ while urging the states to go for micro-containment zones to prevent the spread of the virus.

Odisha on Thursday extended lockdown in 10 of the 30 districts including Khurda till August 1 as the Covid-19 infections had not come down. The state is reporting more than 60 deaths daily since last week though the state government clarified that all the deaths may not be recent.

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