COVID-19 | Bengaluru records increase in vaccinations

People waiting to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

The past few days have seen an uptick in the number of people queuing up outside urban primary health centres (UPHCs) to get vaccinated against COVID-19. It coincides with the detection of the coronavirus variant, Omicron, in Bengaluru as well as the government’s new rules barring those who are not fully vaccinated from theatres and malls, and their children from physically attending schools.

Going by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) own accounts, from around 30,000 to 35,000 vaccinations a day, the numbers have gone up to 70,000.

Confirming the trend, D.S. Nathan, a citizen volunteer at the vaccination centre in Doddanekkundi ward (Mahadevapura zone) said that a week ago, the number of people visiting the centre was a low 20-30 a day. “Now, we are able to administer around 300 vaccine doses a day, both first and second,” he said. He attributed the increase to not just Omicron, but also to benefits being linked to the vaccination. Recently, one of the recommendations of the technical advisory committee was to ensure that the benefits of various schemes are given only to those who have been fully vaccinated.

According to Suraj Mohan, designated COVID-19 doctor at the Jalahalli UPHC, vaccine hesitancy has reduced. He told The Hindu that there was a dip in numbers in October and November, but that is no longer the case. “Our staff were calling those due for the second dose and urging them to take it,” he said, and added that the ASHA workers also undertook a block and lane survey to identify those with vaccine hesitancy.

A nurse at the UPHC at Palace Guttahalli, which caters to citizens of two wards Aramane Nagar and Rajamahal Guttahalli, said that until a few days ago, around 70 doses were administered every day. “However, over the past 3-4 days, we are administering more than 100 doses daily,” the nurse said.

A similar trend was seen at the mega vaccination centre at Malleswaram which is open round-the-clock. Ayushi Rana, site manager at the centre and district technical officer of CARE India, said that when the centre was started, around 700 doses were being administered every day. The numbers dropped to around 350-400, even though it offers drive-through, on-the-spot registration facilities. “We have noticed that over the past three days, more people are coming from across the city for the first dose. They make up a large percentage of those coming to get vaccinated,” she said.

According to civic chief Gaurav Gupta, around 90% of the eligible population has got the first dose, while second dose coverage is around 66%. “We are working on increasing this to 80%, which will be big,” he said.

BBMP Special Commissioner K.V. Thrilokchandra said that efforts had been taken to increase the vaccination coverage over the past 15 days with door-to-door visits by ASHA workers and mobile camps in apartments and office complexes.

“Getting vaccinated will ensure that the severity of symptoms is minimised to a large extent, which will translate to reduction in need to be hospitalised,” he said.

Mr. Gupta said that studies on the new variant were still on, though initial investigations had revealed that though easily transmissible, the adverse effects caused is lesser compared to the earlier variants.

Regarding booster dose, he said that the expert committee had recommended booster dose for the health workers, who were the first to be vaccinated. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had been in touch with the centre in this regard, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 8:56:22 AM |

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