The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) crossed a milestone by inoculating 50% of the population with both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of October 5. Although BBMP comes second after Bengaluru Urban, which has achieved 58% coverage of the second dose in the State, it is one among the few districts in the country that have covered 50% of their population with both doses. Over 21% of the total 5,75,06,096 doses administered till October 6 are from Bengaluru.
Among mega cities, Bengaluru is second after Delhi that has achieved maximum first dose coverage. In the third week of August, BBMP had crossed a milestone by administering a total of over 1 crore doses.
BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said Bengaluru is much safer now with half of the population being fully vaccinated. “This also shows that the remaining population would be reachable and covered in the next one month or so by which time we are hoping the 84-day gap between two doses of Covishield will be reduced. We are waiting for the Centre to take a call on that so that we can achieve more second dose coverage,” he said.
He asserted that the 50% coverage will be instrumental in stemming the possible third wave and the number of cases, particularly hospitalisations. “We are finding that hospitalisations, especially ICU admissions, are significantly low among those who are fully vaccinated,” he said.
D. Randeep, BBMP's Special Commissioner (Health), said the civic body is confident of achieving over 95% first dose and nearly 85% second dose coverage by December-end.
He said unlike the first dose, which is supply and demand based, the second dose coverage can be handled in a much more structured manner. “The due date list that also has addresses of second dose beneficiaries is available with zonal health officials and medical officers of health from the assembly constituency level up to the Primary Health Centre (PHC) level. The officials will keep track and ensure maximum coverage of the second dose. We will also continue adopting the block and lane level vaccination approach to ensure maximum coverage,” he explained.
Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said that having achieved 81% coverage for the first dose, Karnataka is pushing for 100% first coverage.“With the exception of some districts in Kalyana Karnataka, we should be able to achieve 100% first dose coverage by the end of this month or early next month. The focus is clearly shifting to second dose coverage,” he said. Bengaluru will be one of the first metros to achieve 100% vaccination, he added.