Poor turnout for COVID vaccination drive in outer zones of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike
Mahadevapura, Yelahanka, Dasarahalli, Bommanahalli, and RR Nagar, which are the outer zones, have seen much lower turnout due to fears over the vaccine, which the government needs to address.
BENGALURU: Since the launch of the vaccine, Bengaluru Urban has seen a poor turnout, with the number of beneficiaries in the outer zones of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike relatively lower than in other zones.
Mahadevapura, Yelahanka, Dasarahalli, Bommanahalli, and RR Nagar, which are the outer zones, have seen much lower turnout due to fears over the vaccine, which the government needs to address, officials say.
Another factor is that the number of health workers in these zones is low due to lower population. BBMP data shows that between January 18 and 21, only 1,805 of 3,619 targeted beneficiaries in Yelahanka zone received the jab, while in Bommanahalli, only 1,672 of 7,628 people turned up. In Dasarahalli, of the total 1,198, only 511 got the vaccine, and in Mahadevapura, 757 of the target of 4,700 turned up.
A Bommanahalli zonal officer told The New Indian Express, "As this phase is only for healthcare workers, it is voluntary. There has been a slow turnout, but we are expecting it to improve next week when more people realise that the vaccine is completely safe. Meanwhile, in the outer zones, the health centres are fewer than in South and East. In Bommanahalli, we have only 15 primary health centres, while South and East have 30 each."
A Dasarahalli health officer said, "Many feel there will be adverse side effects and so they do not want to get vaccinated. There needs to be awareness and campaigns on social media platforms." Mahadevapura zone, one of the biggest in the city, has a very low turnout.
"Due to glitches in the Co-WIN app, many beneficiaries do not get the messages and we crosscheck from the list we have and call them. Sometimes, they are not available on the scheduled days, and choose to take it in the second round," said an officer. The portal needs to be fixed before Phases 2 and 3, which will cover a larger population, said a Bommanahalli officer.
Rajendra Cholan, BBMP Special Commissioner, Health, told The New Indian Express that they were in talks with universities, hospitals and district administrations to trace them and get them vaccinated.