Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to vaccinate staff and employees of medicine shops across the State on a priority basis.
The decision came a couple of days after the chemists and druggists threatened to shut their shops if they were not given frontline worker status and vaccinated on priority.
“The staff & employees working in medicine shops are providing services uninterruptedly to the general public during the pandemic and also during lockdown & shutdown in the State,” Additional Chief Secretary (health) Pradipta Mohapatra said in a letter.
“In view of their nature of work, you are requested to vaccinate the staff and employees on priority subject to availability of vaccines,” Mohapatra told district collectors, commissioners of municipal corporations and CDM and PHOs.
He said the employees aged 45 years and above will be vaccinated with the vaccines supplied by the Centre while employees aged 18 to 44 years will get the jabs from the State procured vaccines.
In another letter, the health department has directed district collectors, commissioners of municipal corporations and CDM and PHOs to designate one senior officer as Competent Authority for granting permission for administration of second dose of Covishield to certain categories before 844 days.
The Centre has issued a set of SOPs on administration of second dose of Covishield vaccine prior to prescribed interval (after 28 days but before 84 days) to persons intending to undertake international travel for education, joining employment in foreign countries and for India’s contingent to Tokyo Olympics.
The SOPs said the second dose of Covishield vaccine can be administered to these categories after 28 days but before 84 days This special dispensation will be available to –
• Students who have to undertake foreign travel for the purpose of education.
• Persons who have to take up jobs in foreign countries.
• Athletes. sports persons and accompanying staff of Indian contingent attending International Olympics Games to be held in Tokyo.
Further, the union health ministry clarified that the period of Covaxin has remained the same i.e. 4 to 6 weeks and hence there is no need for any special dispensation for 2nd dose of Covaxin.