Karnataka: Daily jabs in October see 50% dip compared to September second half | Bengaluru News – Times of India
Between October 1 and 15, the state administered a total of over 41.1 lakh doses, which is only half of the over 81.9 lakh doses administered between September 15 and 30. Of those administered so far in October, more than 26.7 lakh were second doses, while over 14.3 lakh were first.
Officials in the health and family welfare department, while reiterating that there is no problem on the supply side, pointed to the huge gap between doses of Covishield, the challenges of identifying those eligible for second dose, and hesitancy attributed to the festive season as reasons for the drop in daily vaccination.
Since nearly nine of 10 vaccine doses administered in the state are Covishield, officials said reduction of gap between doses could expedite second dose coverage across districts. “Given that 80% of the eligible population has been covered with one dose, we’ve completed the easy part of the programme. The last leg of vaccination is more challenging, as we need to identify people, deal with hesitancy and other issues. We are adopting multiple approaches and are confident of being successful,” a senior department official said.
MK Sudharshan, chairperson, state Covid-19 technical advisory committee (TAC), while pointing out that the panel has already recommended that the gap between doses be reduced, said: “That is something the Centre has to decide. From our side, we think that the gap was fine initially as we needed to cover as many people as possible with the first dose, but now that we’ve achieved that, the focus must shift to the second dose.”
90 lakh yet to get first dose
As of 4pm on Saturday (October 16), the government had administered more than 6 crore doses of vaccine — more than 5.3 crore (88%) were Covishield and over 70.7 lakh (11.6%) Covaxin. Around 50% of the said doses have been given to men, while more than 3 crore or 49.6% to women.
Of the eligible population of more than 4.9 crore, the state has managed to administer at least one dose to more than 4.07 crore or 81.8%. Over 2 crore or 40.2% of the eligible population has been fully inoculated.
This means that more than 90.2 lakh people among the eligible population are yet to get even the first dose, while over 2.07 crore people who’ve got the first dose still need to get the second jab, but not all of them qualify for it immediately given the gap.
“As on date, around 30 lakh people are eligible for the second dose. However, we found that many of them have not turned up for vaccination, which could be because of the festive season. We are hopeful that daily vaccination improves in the second half of the month,” Dr Arundathi Chandrashekhar, MD, National Health Mission (Karnataka), told STOI.
She added the state had already received around 50 lakh doses in October and it was slated to get a total of at least 1.3 crore for the whole month.