In the fight against the pandemic, Odisha’s capital city Bhubaneswar entered the hall of fame today when the city’s municipal authority BMC declared that Bhubaneswar will be the first city in the country to give shots to the targeted population aged 18 and higher.
“As of July 29, a total of 18.16 lakh doses, including 7.598 lakh second doses, had been delivered in the State Capital. The city’s vaccination target population is 9.7 lakh people. We will soon reach our objective and be recognised as the first city to achieve target vaccination “Laxmikant Sethi, Additional BMC Commissioner, said.
Even though the route to triumph has been built by proactive BMC officials, some favourable conditions have worked to the BMC’s benefit and been the fuel for the vaccine overdrive.
Despite the fact that the targeted population to be vaccinated in the BMC area was little more than 3% of the overall population to be vaccinated in the State, the number of vaccination sites in the State Capital accounted for more than 5% of total vaccinated sites across the State. The figures reveal the civic body’s vigorous workout.
Most Urbanised City
With Bhubaneswar being the most urbanised city in the state, this demographic characteristic has given a significant reward to its vaccination campaign. Though there was some vaccination hesitation in the Capital City in its early days, the speed of the second wave has brought about a radical change in which the hesitancy has been replaced with vaccine acceptance.
“Initially, the city saw a high level of vaccination apprehension. Many people were hesitant to sign the consent form. Furthermore, the obligatory medical check-ups, such as blood pressure and the reporting of their medical history, assisted the hesitation factor in the Capital city. However, when the second wave expanded quickly, the skepticism gave way to a high level of tolerance in the temple city,” remembered a vaccine officer at the Capital Hospital.
Size Matters: Small Yields Big Gain
According to statistics from the CoWIN platform, Mumbai has received 74.51 lakh doses to date, followed by Ahmedabad (37.91 lakh), Bengaluru BBMP + Urban (over 85 lakh), Kolkata (46.21 lakh), Chennai (36.3 lakh), Lucknow (19.55 lakh), Jaipur (20.92 lakh) etc.
According to the data presented above, many peer cities in the country have administered more doses than Bhubaneswar (18.16 lakh), but because the target size of the population to be vaccinated in the State Capital is comparatively small, the Capital City of Odisha has reaped the demographic advantage.
Covaxin – The Game Changer
While the City got a good start in the jab race due to the aforementioned causes, the Covaxin – India’s desi vaccine – was the game changer.
The desi vaccination has being delivered to the State Capital on a regular basis. While the State Government had been repeatedly alerted to the significant scarcity of Covishield dosages in the State, which was impacting vaccination rates, there was no evidence of a supply-side restriction in the case of Covaxin.
The data on Covaxin dosage delivery to the state provides proof. As of today, the Union Government has distributed 5.52 million Covaxin medicines across the country. Odisha had received about 23.18 lakh doses, accounting for almost 4% of all doses distributed to far.
In contrast, according to statistics from the CoWIN site, the population to be vaccinated with Covaxin in Odisha (Bhubaneswar) has been about 3.5 percent of the overall Covaxin vaccinated population in the country.