Karnataka achieved another milestone on Wednesday with the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered so far crossing the 10 crore mark.
With 2,29,779 doses administered till 6 p.m. on Wednesday, the total number of doses touched 10,01,80,782. It took one year and 39 days for the State to breach the 10 crore mark in terms of total doses. This includes first, second and precaution doses apart from child vaccinations.
While the State has achieved 100% first dose coverage, the second dose coverage stands at 93%. While 76% of the targeted paediatric population has been covered, 63% of the group that is due for precaution dose have been inoculated.
COVID-19 vaccination was rolled out on January 16, 2021, for healthcare workers followed by frontline workers in the first and second phase. While child vaccination was rolled out on January 3, 2022, administration of precaution dose began on January 10, 2022.
With a target population of 4.89 crore, the State had a task of administering a total of 9.78 crore doses (first and second doses included). However, with the opening up of child and precaution dose vaccinations, the number of doses administered have crossed 10 crore. State health officials said the challenge now is to achieve 100% second dose coverage.
While 31,75,000 children in the 15-17 years age group in the State are eligible for vaccination, 18,33,979 people are in the target group for precaution dose.
As of Wednesday, the State has a stock of 27,63,126 doses including 6,24,956 Covaxin doses. However, officials admitted that there is a short supply of Covaxin in the recent days after the roll out of child vaccinations.
Currently, the State is seventh in the country after Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat. On September 17, during the mega vaccination drive that coincided with the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the State had crossed five crore mark.
With high vaccine hesitancy in the initial period, the State took 109 days to administer 1 crore doses. Subsequently, the number of days taken to cover every crore of doses gradually reduced to as many as 21 days. However, after crossing nine crore doses the State took 44 days to touch 10 crore.
Attributing the slow down in vaccinations to the steady decline in cases and the mild infections in the third wave, Arundathi Chandrashekar, State Mission Director, National Health Mission, said covering the last mile is a huge challenge. “Lakhs of people are due for a second dose according to our database. However, most of them would have taken with a different number. Unless that is sorted out they will not be eligible. We are trying to merge the duplicates but that is a difficult task,” she said, adding that the State has also written to the Centre seeking reconciliation of data.