Wide gap between those vaccinated with 1st dose and those with both

Although Karnataka’s pace of vaccination is better than several other States, the gap between those vaccinated with the first dose and those with both doses is wide.

Of the total 2,58,30,507 doses administered till 3.30 p.m. on Monday, 2,10,49,368 are first doses. Only 22.7% (47,81,139) of the people have received both the doses thereby making them fully vaccinated.

The wide difference between them is attributed to frequent changes in policy and revision of the prescribed gap between the two doses. Besides, the irregular and short supply of vaccines is also an important reason, experts said.

As per the current guidelines, the second dose of Covishield has to be administered 12-16 weeks from the first dose. “Most people who took the first dose after the revised guidelines will have to wait nearly 84 days. Among those who are eligible, not all are coming forward to take it,” said Giridhara R. Babu, member of the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

Dr. Babu, who is also the head of Lifecourse Epidemiology at the Indian Institute of Public Health in Bengaluru, said there will be a huge demand for the doses as many people will become eligible in the coming days.

“Also, hundreds of thousands were infected with COVID-19 during the second wave. They will be eligible for the dose only three months later,” he explained.

C.N. Manjunath attributed the wide gap mainly to the short supply of vaccine. “With the Centre allowing people above 18 years to get vaccinated, the demand for vaccines has gone up considerably while the supply has been irregular,” he said.

“Moreover, the vaccine hesitancy among people in the first few months changed into large-scale acceptance during the second wave. The steep rise in cases and deaths in the second wave prompted the public to reach out for vaccines. This also led to a sudden rise in demand,” Dr. Manjunath said.

However, State Health Commissioner K.V. Trilok Chandra denied that the low percentage of fully vaccinated people is owing to short supply.

“It is because of the 12-16 week gap between two doses of Covishield that was introduced in May. As a major chunk of the total vaccinations have happened in the last three months, those who have taken the first dose after that are still not due for the second dose,” he said.

Asserting that the State has been prioritising second dose vaccinations, the Commissioner said there will be a huge rush for the second dose in the coming days.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:31:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/wide-gap-between-those-vaccinated-with-1st-dose-and-those-with-both/article35291675.ece

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