Eight lakh Covishield doses in, special booster camps to start
State had only Covaxin, orders not placed due to low vax demand
BENGALURU: After much delay, the state has received 8 lakh Covishield vaccines and will be organising special vaccination camps from this weekend. The focus of the camps will be to improve the booster dose (third dose) administration which is around 22%, as against the target of achieving 50% coverage by January, set by Health Minister Dr Sudhakar.
The main reason for the poor percentage of booster dose administration was that the state had only Covaxin, and had run out of Covishield and heterologous Corbevax vaccines, stopping them from rolling out special vaccination camps. As there was no demand for vaccines, the state had not placed orders for fresh stocks of Covishield, which was administered to a majority of the state’s population. However, as cases in China, US and other countries started soaring, people began expressing concern and complained about the non-availability of Covishield.
Health Commissioner D Randeep said the state has received 8 lakh Covishield doses and special vaccination drives will be held. Naveen Bhat, State Mission Director, National Health Mission, said, “We will be holding a meeting with DCs of all districts on Wednesday, and distribute the vaccines. We have prepared an action plan for administering 8 lakh vaccines within this month. Special vaccination camps will start by Thursday or the weekend in Bengaluru and other districts.”
Wide publicity will be given on the special camps so that people take the third jab, he added.
By the time we complete 75-80 per cent of the vaccines received, we will place an order for more vaccines, Naveen added.