Vaccination scenario in State is shocking: HC

A notice about Covaxin on display at K.C. General Hospital in Bengaluru on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

Describing the current COVID-19 situation in State as “shocking to say the least”, the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday directed the State government to immediately get in touch with the Central government in connection with an order already placed with vaccine manufacturers for the supply of 3 crore doses.

The court, from the data submitted by the State government, found that there is only 7,76,675 doses of vaccine available in the State even though 65,83,687 people need the second dose as of May 5. Hence, only 7,76,675 persons can be given the second dose, the court observed while emphasising that priority is to be given to those requiring the second dose within the prescribed vaccine schedule.

“Thus the scenario about vaccination is, to say the least, is shocking. Only 7,76,675 doses will have to be given to those who have taken first dose and time specified for second dose is likely to expire,” a Special Division, comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar, said in its order.

The Bench directed the State government to specify to the Central government the number of beneficiaries who are likely to lose the benefit of first dose for not administering the second dose within the prescribe vaccine schedule.

While directing the State government to submit requisition to the Centre on May 6, the Bench directed the Centre to appropriate decision within three days from the receipt of requisition.

The Bench also took note of the guidance given by the Central government in its CoWIN portal on taking second dose of vaccine.

Second dose schedule

The portal, in the frequently asked questions section has stated that, “It is recommended that the 2nd dose of COVAXIN should be administered in the interval of 4 to 6 weeks from the date of 1st dose administration. For Covishield the recommended interval is 4 to 8 weeks while an interval of 6 to 8 weeks gives an enhanced protection. You may choose the date of 2nd dose vaccination as per your convenience.”

“It is virtually impossible for Karnataka to get the first dose unless they fall in the priority category of healthcare workers, front line workers, and citizens above 45 years,” the Bench pointed out.

Earlier, Additional Advocate-General R. Subramanya told the Bench that the State had placed order with the respective manufacturers for supply of 2 crore Covishield and 1 core Covaxin doses.

Meanwhile, the Bench directed the government to inform the court on measures taken to ensure that COVID-19 does not spread in over 1,000 slums in Bengaluru city.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 3:42:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/vaccination-scenario-in-state-is-shocking-hc/article34500550.ece

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