BENGALURU: Those in the 18-44 age group who were anxiously waiting for the vaccine are disappointed that the State Government has suspended it and said that the Government is not serious about the drive. With no date announced as to when it will restart, those who managed to get the first dose are at risk of missing their second dose, they added.
“The State Government ordered the vaccines late. Other states are vaccinating more people than us. Those in the 18-44 age group travel the most and are at higher risk of getting infected,” said Abdul Aleem, president, Changemakers of Kanakapura Road. The Centre should approve vaccines from other companies, like Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson and Chinese manufacturers. The current monopoly of one or two vaccines is causing delays, he added.
A lawyer, Venkat Purushottam, was trying to book a slot on the CoWIN portal ever since the slots opened up for the 18-plus age group. He used vaccine trackers that give updates on Telegram, a messaging platform, watching it throughout the day to find an available slot. But he was unsuccessful and soon after, the drive was suspended.
“This age category works in high-paying jobs and pays higher taxes. They should be prioritised along with those above 45 years. The government has not purchased sufficient stocks of vaccines,” he said. He pointed out that when the drive was opened for senior citizens and those above 45, no one came forward. Now that the vaccines are in short supply, people are coming in large numbers. Sufficient time has been given to the older population and it is important now to focus on the younger crowd, so that they feel safe to move around, he added.
It is always better to follow the ideal gap recommended by each vaccine manufacturer for the best antibody response. There are no side-effects even if one exceeds the recommended interval, said Dr KS Satish, senior consultant, pulmonology and chest medicine, Fortis Hospitals.
“After receiving the first dose, if you miss your date to get the second dose, there is no need to start the vaccination cycle again. Try to take the second shot as soon as possible,” Dr Satish said.