Covid vaccination drive for 45+ begins in Karnataka

Bengaluru, April 2 (IANS) In the third phase of Covid vaccination drive, hundreds of citizens above 45 years of age, irrespective of comorbidities, received their first dose amid surging coronavirus cases in Karnataka, an official said on Thursday.

“The vaccination drive gathered momentum in the third phase as citizens above 45 years of age also received their first shot in state-run and private hospitals in cities and towns across the state on Thursday,” a health official told IANS.

The southern state has around 1.66 crore people above 45 years of age.

According to the state health bulletin, a total of 39,465 people above 45 years, including senior citizens, people with comorbidities, healthcare workers and frontline warriors were vaccinated during the day across the state.

“Cumulatively, 38,50,572 people have been vaccinated across the state since the drive was launched on January 16 and stepped up on March 1 when senior citizens above 60 years and those with comorbidities in the 45-59 age bracket were also given the jab,” the official said.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and state Health Minister K. Sudhakar appealed to all the eligible people to take the vaccine and protect themselves from the pandemic.

“As the protective cover against Coronavirus is vaccine, I urge every citizen above 45 years of age to get vaccinated at the earliest and strictly follow the Covid appropriate behaviour to be safe,” Yediyurappa said in a statement.

Sudhakar, a medical doctor by profession, said that 5,500 centres have been set up across the state for vaccinating all the citizens above 45 years of age.

“We began vaccinating all citizens aged above 45 years at 5,500 sites, including 650 private centres. About 1.5 lakh doses of vaccine have been supplied to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to inoculate all the eligible people at about 600 centres across the city,” said Sudhakar.

As the epicentre of the pandemic, this tech city registered 2,906 new positive cases on Wednesday, taking its Covid tally to 4,37,733, including 21,789 active cases, while 4,11,313 recovered, with 719 getting discharged on Wednesday.

“Vaccination will continue at all primary health centres, community health centres and all government and private hospitals at taluks and district hospitals and medical colleges across the state to inoculate every citizen,” the health department said in a statement.

The health department has 13.5 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine and 1.5 lakh doses of Covaxin to vaccinate the eligible people.

“The vaccines have been supplied to all cold-chain points in all the 31 districts across the state,” said an official.

The Union Health Ministry has assured the state of supplying additional vaccine does regularly to accelerate the drive to inoculate all citizens above 45 years of age in the coming months.

“No severe or serious Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) cases were reported from any vaccination centre across the state on Thursday. There have been only two serious and 23 AEFI cases in the state since the drive was launched on January 16,” asserted the official.

Manipal Hospitals on the Old Airport road in the city’s easter suburb began vaccinating citizens above 45 years of age.

“About 800 beneficiaries above 45 years received the first shot on the first day of the third phase drive,” said the director of the private hospital, Manish Rai.

The hospital has set up 10 booths in its out-patient department to vaccinate the eligible citizens, as per the safety protocols.

“We see a quick transition in the inoculation drive, as the government has opened up vaccination for all people above 45 years. Given the (pandemic) situation in the country, this is the need of the hour to fight the virus,” Rai said in a statement.

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