No vaccine, no salary: Odisha to health workers

With a vaccination coverage of 53.9%, Cuttack is at the bottom among 30 districts in Odisha.

Medicine Vaccine Injection
Picture: Pixabay

Last Updated on February 7, 2021 by The Health Master

BHUBANESWAR: The Cuttack district administration on Friday threatened to withhold salary and remuneration of healthcare and anganwadi workers who fail to turn up for C-19 vaccination by the February 10 deadline.

In a letter to the principal of SCB Medical College, the municipal commissioner, chief district medical and public health officer and district social welfare officers, among others, collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani asked them not to draw the salary / remuneration / stipend of healthcare workers for February if they do not take the vaccine.

Injection Medicine
Picture: Pixabay

“As the percentage of vaccination in Cuttack district is one of the lowest in the state, it is causing a great embarrassment,” he wrote in the letter which could trigger controversy regarding the supposed high-handedness.

With a vaccination coverage of 53.9%, Cuttack is at the bottom among 30 districts in Odisha.

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It is far behind the state average of 69.6%. Cuttack has the highest registered healthcare workers, 29,624, of whom 15,965 have taken the vaccine so far.

A doctor preferring anonymity said since the vaccination drive is voluntary, forcing or coercing someone to take it is undesirable, though all should take it.

“I have taken it. But if someone is hesitant, he or she should be given the freedom to chose whether to take it or not,” the doctor said.

While Chayani could not be contacted as he did not respond to phone calls, additional chief secretary (health) Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra said the districts are trying to improve their coverage by encouraging healthcare workers to take the vaccine before the February 10 deadline.

Mohapatra, however, refused to comment on the Cuttack district administration’s diktat.

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