The Government of Odisha has sought the permission of the Health Ministry to include journalists, workers of the electricity and water supply departments, airport staff, and even priests of the Jagannath Temple (at Puri) and Lingraj Temple (at Bhubaneshwar) in the category of frontline workers, so that they can be vaccinated on priority.
The State government wants all journalists and employees in the print and electronic media to be included in the frontline workers or FLW category. Employees who are involved in the maintenance of essential services, including electricity and water supply should also be treated as FLW and vaccinated on priority according to the Odisha government. Other workers it wants to include in the FLW category are, staff at airports, railway stations and seaports, as well as priests of the two most popular temples in the state.
As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in the initial phase, the COVID 19 vaccine will be provided to the priority group, that is, healthcare and frontline workers. The vaccination drive began in India on January 16 for this priority group in phase one.
The second phase started that began on March 1 is underway. Doses are being administered to people above the age of 60 and those between 45 and 59 years with comorbidities.