Confusion over COVID-19 vaccination for 18-44 priority group


Although the State government had announced that vaccination for beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group would resume for frontline and vulnerable workers from Saturday, it did not take off at most government hospitals in Bengaluru.

Following the Health Department’s announcement, many beneficiaries lined up at hospitals assuming they would get vaccinated. However, they had to return disappointed. There were minor skirmishes reported in a few hospitals as many were asked to go back.

State health officials claimed that vaccination was taken up in a few workplaces and some vaccination centres, including primary health centres, and as many as 22,788 beneficiaries were vaccinated till 3.30 p.m. However, the heads of various hospitals in the city said they had not been given a separate stock for this group.

“While the routine vaccination for 45 years and above continued as usual, we did not resume the drive for the 18-44 group as we did not get the stocks for this group,” said B.R. Venkateshaiah, K.C. General Hospital medical superintendent. T.S. Ranganath, nodal officer for vaccination at Victoria Hospital, said the Health Department was working on developing a separate portal that will be linked to the CoWIN portal. “We have been told to wait till this happens. Vaccination for this age group will begin only after that,” he said.

H.D.R. Radhakrishna, medical superintendent of Sir C.V. Raman General Hospital, also said separate stock for this age group was not given and hence vaccination had not resumed.

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However, Health Commissioner K.V. Trilok Chandra said new guidelines have been issued for vaccination of this group, and based on that the drive would be carried out from Monday.

For identified workers

Clarifying that vaccination in the 18-44 group was only for identified State COVID-19 frontline workers and vulnerable/priority groups, Arundathi Chandrashekar, State Mission Director, National Health Mission, said the concerned would be informed about the date and time of vaccination by the designated nodal officers. “Vaccination for all in this age group is currently not available,” she said.

“We have noted that there is some confusion among the general public regarding vaccination. While vaccination for 45 and above is continuing with Covishield, Covaxin for first dose is currently not available,” she said in a statement.

“For the first dose with Covishield, prior online registration is a must only in urban areas. On-site registration is allowed in rural areas. However, for the second dose, walk-in vaccination is being done. For the second dose of Covaxin, an SMS will be sent to the beneficiaries, who can visit the designated centres mentioned in it,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Health Minister K. Sudhakar tweeted that Karnataka had received 2,04,050 doses of Covishield on Saturday from an order placed by the State government.

A total of 1,04,251 people were vaccinated on Saturday.



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Sagar Biswas

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