BENGALURU: With Karnataka facing a severe shortage of vaccine, the State Government has decided to float a global tender to procure two crore doses and facilitate vaccination of those in the 18-44-year age group.The State Covid Task Force, headed by Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, on Tuesday decided to procure vaccine through global tenders like many other states, including Maharashtra. “It has been decided to float the tender and complete the process within seven days.” the Deputy CM told reporters after the task force meeting.
The state is currently dependent on vaccines supplied by the Union Government. As of Tuesday, around 22.39 lakh people have got both the doses and around 65 lakh received the first dose and are waiting to get the second dose of the vaccine. Those in the 18-44 age group are also finding it very difficult to get the vaccine.
The DyCM said that apart from global tenders to procure vaccines, an order has been placed for three crore doses, which include one crore of Covaxin and two crore of Covishield. “There is a huge demand for the vaccines in the country and probably, in the next one or two months, we too will be able to produce 20 crore doses of vaccine. Now, there is a lot of anxiety among people. To meet the demand, we are looking at all available sources to procure vaccines,” he said. “We have invited the tenders and vaccines approved by the regulatory bodies will be considered,” he added.
A senior officer in the Health Department said many states are floating global tenders to meet the requirement. “There is a lot of demand for vaccination, especially from the 18-44-years age group. From the epidemiological point of view, there is a need to expedite vaccination,” the officer said. The state wants to complete the second dose also as early as possible as a person becomes fully protected only after getting both doses. While the Centre is supplying vaccines for other groups, the state is procuring it for the 18-44 age group, the officer added.
The Deputy CM said authorities have also been instructed to procure one lakh pulse oximeters and these will be distributed to all the districts and taluks. “It will be the responsibility of the District and Taluk Health Officers to collect the pulse oximeters back after an infected user gets cured. Later, they will be used for creating a pulse oximeter bank,” he said.
For testing, currently, 10.50 lakh RAT kits are in stock and this will be enough for seven days and 50,000 RAT kits are being supplied every day. In addition to this, it has directed to procure 37 lakh RT-PCR kits. Ten lakh Ivermectin tablets, required to treat infected people, have been procured and the supply on May 14, he added.