Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa, health minister contradict each other on vaccination drive | Bengaluru News – Times of India
Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa
BENGALURU: Even as the Karnataka government on Saturday symbolically launched the vaccination drive for the 18-44 years category, chief minister BS Yediyurappa and health minister contradicted each other on how the drive would be launched.
At the soft launch in a government hospital here, Yediyurappa said: “We received 3 lakh doses and have a stock balance of about 1 lakh doses returned by private hospitals. We will continue with the drive.’’ However, Sudhakar said: “We’ll start the full-fledged drive only after we get confirmation from manufacturers about when they’ll supply the vaccines. We have over 6,000 vaccination centres and need at least 6 lakh doses before we start with the 18-plus population.”
Four hosp branches begin drive for 18-44 category
Cief secretary P Ravi Kumar told STOI: “We’ll announce the date of the full-fledged launch for 18-plus category once we distribute vaccines to government health centres. We’ll then open CoWIN portal for registrations. It may take some days.’’ This comes a day after the government deferred the drive for 18-44 years category citing vaccine shortage and asked people of this group not to throng hospitals until further notification. The drive for those over 45 years will not be affected.
Meanwhile, four branches of Apollo Hospitals in the state — Jayanagar, Bannerghatta Road, Seshadripuram (all in Bengaluru) and Mysuru — started the drive for 18-44 category on Saturday. Some other corporate hospitals are also preparing to launch the drive soon.
Asked about the urgency for starting the third phase, especially when people above 45 years are worried about getting their second dose, Yediyurappa said the government has made different arrangements for different groups. “In the next few days, another vaccine is entering the Indian market. Vaccines from other countries are being imported. There will be no shortage,” he said.
Congress seized the opportunity. “On the one hand, health minister Sudhakar says there is no stock of vaccines. But the CM claims there is no shortage. Who is lying,” asked former KPCC president Dinesh Gunda Rao.
On Friday, Yediyurappa said the third phase will begin in stages as there was no confirmation on supply of vaccines. Sudhakar had appealed to those aged 18-44 who registered on CoWin portal not to turn up at vaccination centres. Health department sources said the U-turn came after the Centre asked SII to hand over some stocks to Karnataka to ensure it’s part of the national launch on Saturday.
(With inputs by BV Shivashankar)