Karnataka

Rise in COVID-19 cases, but not many takers for precaution dose in State

Less than 50% of the targeted population in the senior citizens category and 3.4% in 18-59 age group due for a precaution (third) dose of the COVID-19 vaccination have been covered so far in the State. 

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.

16 districts above average

As of June 17, the State had a target population of 37,92,939 in the senior citizens’ category and 72,89,471 in 18-59 age group, due for the precaution dose. According to data from the Co-WIN portal shared by the State Health Department, while the coverage in 16 districts is above the State average of 48% among senior citizens, only two districts (Bengaluru Urban and Mysuru) have achieved more than the State average of 3.4% in the 18-59 age group.

In the senior citizens’ category, while the highest coverage is in Chamarajanagar where 75% of the target population has been covered, the lowest is in Yadgir that has 26% coverage. In Bengaluru Urban district, inclusive of BBMP, the coverage so far has been 51%. While Chamarajanagar, Kolar and Belagavi have a coverage of above 70%, Ramanagaram is inching towards 70%. 

Poor response

The response has been very poor in the 18-59 age group with 13 districts recording zero coverage and an equal number of districts recording less than 1% coverage. The lowest is in Ballari and Vijayapura that have recorded 0.01% and the highest is in Bengaluru Urban where 10% coverage has been achieved. Bengaluru Urban is followed by Mysuru that has recorded 4.1% coverage, according to data.

Arundathi Chandrashekar, State Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM), told The Hindu on Saturday that there is reluctance towards getting the third dose mainly because people have developed complacency. “After the third wave, COVID-19 was on a decline. Now that cases are rising again, we are hoping people will come forward to get jabbed,” she said.

“Moreover, many are still not eligible for the third dose as they would not have completed nine months after the second dose. We have restarted the ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign from June 1 but the response is yet to pick up,” she said.

Complacency

C.N. Manjunath, member of the State’s Clinical Experts’ Committee, said the complacency is mainly because of the mild nature of the third wave. “People are under the impression that the fourth wave will be milder than the third and hospitalisation and deaths will be very low and hence a booster dose is not required.  But, people should know disease severity, hospitalisations and deaths were low in the third wave because of vaccination. With waning immunity, a booster dose is essential,” he said.

Taking note of the poor progress, the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has recommended that the precaution dose drive should be accelerated. 

While advising the extensive use of mass media to educate people about the need to get the booster shot, the TAC has said NGOs should be involved in mobilising eligible persons for vaccination.

Vaccination for children

The State has achieved 104% first dose and 68% second dose coverage in the 12-14 years age group. Vijayapura has recorded the highest second dose coverage at 98% while Bengaluru Urban (inclusive of BBMP) has the lowest at 47%. 

However, in the 15-17 age group, the State has recorded 85% first dose and 75% second dose coverage. Gadag has achieved 101% second dose coverage followed by Kodagu at 92%. Raichur and Mysuru have recorded the lowest at 61%. 


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 4:45:11 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/rise-in-covid-19-cases-but-not-many-takers-for-precaution-dose-in-state/article65540666.ece