Karnataka: Experts worried as one out of five yet to take shot | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: While Karnataka has successfully inoculated 81% of the eligible population (aged 18 years and above) with at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in the past nine months — the drive began on January 16 — it’s the remaining 19%, as per data on October 5, who have not got a single dose that is worrying experts.

Karnataka is one of only 12 states in the country that has achieved 80% or more first-dose coverage. State health and family welfare department figures show 36% of the population has been fully inoculated (both doses).
Districtwise data shows Yadgir and Kalaburagi have been dragging the state average down, as a staggering 43% of the eligible population in these two districts are yet to get the first shot. On the other hand, Bengaluru city (BBMP) has recorded 89% first dose coverage and 50% for both doses. In all, 17 districts in the state have a first dose coverage which is less than the state average of 81%.
However, these figures have been arrived at by estimating the eligible population based on 2011 census data. In fact, Bengaluru Urban district (excluding BBMP areas) has achieved 121% first-dose coverage, while Udupi has vaccinated 101%.
“Since we are going by 2011 data, in some districts like Bengaluru Urban, the actual population is likely to be much higher than the estimated population,” said an official involved in the drive. “The district has a huge floating population as daily wagers from neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, besides a sizeable chunk who work in ITES and the garment sector, move here in search of work.”
Dr MK Sudarshan, chairperson of the Karnataka’s Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee, said the need is to ramp up the vaccination drive on the lines of the state’s pulse polio campaign. “The time has come to take the vaccine to the people and cover ground that has not been covered as yet,” said Dr Sudarshan.
He said roping in religious leaders will help spread awareness on the importance of the vaccine as they can reach out to those who are still hesitant to take the shot.
Door-to-door campaign

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The state government has already begun door-to-door surveys, said health commissioner Dr KV Trilok Chandra. “Whoever has been left out must come forward and take the shot,” said Dr Chandra. “We have already launched a door-to-door survey to immunise those who have been left. Most of them are aged below 60 years. Among senior citizens (above 60 years), we have covered over 90% with the first dose.”
While underscoring the need to vaccinate all, experts say if the anticipated third wave of infections hits, it’s the unvaccinated lot, who have not been naturally infected, who will be at greater risk of contracting the disease.
“Covid-19 vaccination cannot be made mandatory or given forcefully,” said an expert working closely with the government. “What the government can do is spread awareness by explaining the benefits and the need to take the vaccine among those who are hesitant. Vaccination has played a huge role in bringing down the mortality rate due to the disease.”





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Sagar Biswas

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