BENGALURU: While the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has covered 85% of the city’s population with the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine till October 1, only about 47% have received the second dose.
This may make it difficult to achieve the target of 100% vaccination of the entire population in the city by December-end.
So far, 77,30,547 (85%) people in the city have been inoculated with the first dose while 43,03,401 (47%) have got the second dose.
According to BBMP officials, the target is 91 lakhs as per the civic body records, while it is 94 lakhs as per the Health and Family Welfare (HFW) Department. Till October 1, a total of 1,20,33,948 doses have been administered.
In the priority group, 2,67,984 health care workers (HCWs) and 6,48,055 front line workers (FLWs) have been vaccinated.
The HCWs were the first group to be inoculated when the vaccination drive began on January 16.
However, a senior BBMP official claimed that both the HCWs and FLWs are still not 100% inoculated.
“We still have some health care workers and front line workers to be vaccinated. Some have taken their doses very late. After pourakarmikas were included among FLWs, a few do not want to take their second dose, while some haven’t even come forward for the first dose,” the official said.
As regards the 45-plus age group, 24,46,801 (95%) people have got the first dose and 16,93,575 (66%) have been given both doses.
The second dose coverage is still lagging and might go on till January-end or February due to the long gap for the Covishield vaccine and many having taken their first dose only in September-end, BBMP officials pointed out.
Palike Special Commissioner (Health) Randeep D said, “We plan to cover at least 95% of the population by December-end and achieve 90% of second dose coverage in all the age groups. Many people have just recently taken their first dose, and going by the time interval of 84 days for the second dose of Covishield, the target is difficult to achieve by December-end. However, there are talks of reducing the dosage interval. If that happens, we can cover a majority of the population.”
Among the 18-44 age group, only 46,86,412 (72%) have been vaccinated with the first dose while 21,91,121 (34%) have got both doses.
“The coverage is low in this group as the vaccination started late. The setting up of block and lane level vaccination centres in all wards will help in hastening the vaccination process. We have over 4,000 blocks and the target is to cover the maximum numbers by November 15,” Randeep added.
Dr H M Prasanna, president of the Private Hospitals and Nursing Association (PHANA), pointed out to the need for the government to rope in private centres for vaccination.
“We have told the government that we can carry out vaccination drives in large numbers, as we have the space and even manpower. Earlier, we were charging only Rs 150-200 per person for the government-supplied vaccine doses. If this process was continued, we could have achieved bigger numbers. Despite requests to continue it, it hasn’t been considered.”