A day after Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa assured citizens that they there was no reason to panic or fear about a shortage of supply, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta admitted on Wednesday that the civic body had only 40,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in stock, which would be exhausted by the end of the day.
Speaking to reporters after inspecting the central vaccine storage facility at Dasappa Hospital, Mr. Gupta said that though there was ample storage facility, both at Dasappa Hospital and the various Urban Primary Health Centres (UPHCs), there was not enough stock available with the civic body. “The 40,000 doses that we currently have will be distributed to the various UPHCs. We are likely to receive vaccines [for Thursday] later in the evening. This ‘just in time’ supply of vaccines is being made by the State government,” he said.
Since May 1, the Karnataka government has been allotting vaccines only to the BBMP’s referral hospitals and Urban Primary Health Care Services (UPHCS) while private medical establishments have been directed to directly procure vaccines from pharmaceutical companies. This has had a huge impact on the number of vaccinations in the city.
On April 30, as many as 38,515 people were vaccinated in the city, but the number dropped by more than half to 18,116 on May 1. On May 2, 5,353 persons were vaccinated and on May 3, the number was 9,039. While the numbers were above 30,000 a day from May 5 to 8, vaccinations nosedived to 10,674 on May 9 and 15,179 on May 10.
Barring a few, most private hospitals, too, are running out of stock.