Two lakh get vaccine as Karnataka races ahead | Bengaluru News – Times of India
“We have emerged as a role model by topping the list of states with high vaccination coverage,” health minister K Sudhakar told TOI. “We will intensify our efforts in the coming days.”
Data compiled by the state health department shows a total 2.3 lakh healthcare workers (of the 4.2 lakh shortlisted for vaccination) in government and private hospitals have received the first dose between January 16 and 25. The overall vaccination coverage stands at 53%.
The state received more than 7.9 lakh doses of Covishield and 1.5 lakh doses of Covaxin and these have been administered at 5,000 sites across the state. While lauding the efforts of health department officials and doctors, Sudhakar said: “We need to get more healthcare workers to take the vaccine.”
Allaying fears among a section of healthcare workers about the safety and efficacy of the two vaccines being administered, Sudhakar said there have been no reports of serious side-effects so far. There have been nine adverse events following immunization (AEFI) so far in the state and a majority of these were triggered by anxiety.
To get more people to volunteer for the vaccine, the state government is currently drawing up strategies that would boost confidence levels among ordinary people.
“We will request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow all health ministers to take the vaccine. This will spike unfounded fears among people. The CM will also receive the vaccine in the second phase,” Sudhakar said.
Besides this, the state will also request the Centre to allow 500 prominent personalities to take the jab to motivate others to be vaccinated. These personalities could be movie stars, scientists, top entrepreneurs, sports stars and even religious leaders with a huge fan-following. “We want these personalities to endorse the drive and spread positive messages about the vaccine,” he said.
Health department officials will also focus on districts with low vaccination coverage and identify reasons that are preventing healthcare workers from taking the vaccine. “There seems to be some apprehensions among healthcare workers in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada. We will visit these districts to understand the situation on the ground and devise strategies to tackle them,” Sudhakar said.