Although the precaution dose coverage has marginally gone up since July 15, when the Centre rolled out the 75-day free vaccination campaign to mark 75 years of India’s independence, a mere 8.8% of the population in the 18-59 years age group have been covered so far.
While the coverage in this group that stood at 3.4% in June has more than doubled, the progress has been very poor. In the senior citizens category, 46% of the targeted 70,93,321 persons have been administered the third dose so far.
The combined precaution dose coverage for healthcare workers, frontline workers and citizens in the 18-59 years age group stood at 17% as of August 11.
The Centre rolled out precaution dose administration for senior citizens across the country on January 10 and for those in the 18-59 age group on April 10. The response was very poor with hardly 20,000 people taking the third dose daily. However, following the roll out of the Centre’s Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav COVID vaccine campaign (that will go on till September 30), the uptake has slightly improved. Overall, the State has administered 73,17,990 precaution doses so far, according to official data.
Officials said the number of people eligible for the precaution dose has gone up as the duration between two doses has been reduced from nine months to six months.
Expressing concern over the poor response from people, the Health and Medical Education Minister said it has been proven that the disease severity is low among the vaccinated. “Earlier, the third dose was free only for senior citizens in government hospitals. Besides, vaccines were not available in all private facilities. But now it is available free of cost in government hospitals for people of all age groups. With cases again on the rise, people should come forward and take the precaution dose,” he said.
12 districts above average
As of August 12, the State had a target population of 70,93,321 in the senior citizens’ category and 3,24,36,783 in the 18-59 age group, due for the precaution dose. According to data from the Co-WIN portal shared by the State Health Department, the coverage in 12 districts is above the State average in both the senior citizens and 18-59 years age groups.
In the senior citizens’ category, while the highest coverage is in Ramanagaram where 75% of the target population has been covered, the lowest is in Tumakuru that has 27% coverage. In Bengaluru Urban district, inclusive of BBMP, the coverage so far has been 42%. While Hassan, Kolar, Chitradurga Udupi and Mandya have a coverage of above 60%, Chamarajanagar and Ballari are inching towards 60%.
In the 18-59 years group, the coverage has been below the State average of 8.8% in 19 districts. While the lowest coverage is in Haveri at 4.4%, Kolar recorded the highest coverage at 17.6%. Besides, Yadgir, Hassan and Vijayanagar have recorded coverage of above 13%. Bengaluru Urban has achieved a coverage of 10%.
CorbeVax administration begins in State
With the Centre having approved Biological E’s CorbeVax as a precaution dose for those above 18 years fully vaccinated with either Covishield or Covaxin, Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar officially launched the administration of this heterologous vaccine at Victoria hospital in the city on Friday. TAC chairman M K Sudarshan said it is a safe vaccine and people can opt for it without any hesitancy.