Karnataka vaccination drive hits roadblock even for 45+ as stocks dwindle | Bengaluru News – Times of India
BENGALURU: The vaccination drive in Karnataka for those over 45 years has hit a roadblock with the state reporting a severe shortage of doses. It has already deferred the drive to be rolled out on May 1 for those between 18 and 44 years as it’s yet to receive Covishield doses from Serum Institute of India (SII).
Health officials said SII has informed the government they will not be able to deliver doses for the next three weeks. The government last week placed orders for 1 crore doses worth Rs 400 crore and on Thursday, it placed an order for 1 crore doses.
The government is now pulling out all the stops to get some stocks from the Centre to carry on with the drive for the 45+ category and launch the drive for 18-44 years after lockdown ends on May 12.
Many people scheduled to get their second dose this week and next week started reporting that the Co-WIN portal was not scheduling appointments indicating a shortage of vaccine. When TOI checked, we got the message ‘No Vaccination Centre is available for booking’.
Govt plans to buy 6 crore Covishield doses for now: CS
There were also reports that vaccine centres, both private and government, sent back people on Thursday as there was no stock of vaccine.
Sources in the opposition Congress said that when opposition leader in the assembly Siddaramaiah called chief secretary P Ravikumar on Thursday to check on vaccine availability in the state, he was reportedly told the government is expecting the next batch of vaccines to arrive on May 4.
Ravikumar told TOI the government plans to buy 6 crore doses of Covishield for now, keeping in view 3.2 crore beneficiaries in 18-44 years category, and orders will be placed for more later.
A senior government official said the Centre has informed state governments and private entities to procure vaccines from producers on their own from May 1 and not to rely on it. “SII has not spelt out the delivery schedule, but we’re expecting an interim delivery on Friday,” said health commissioner Triloka Chandra.
“So far, the Centre has supplied 99 lakh doses to Karnataka and 94 lakh doses have been administered in the state. Around 5.9 lakh doses are available and the next phase will continue based on availability of vaccines,” said chief minister B S Yediyurappa Meanwhile, registration for 18-44 years group was allowed on CoWIN but it did not schedule the vaccine session.