Karnataka is all set for the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination exercise on Saturday, with healthcare and sanitation workers among the first ones to take the jab. The vaccines would be administered at 243 centres across the state.
The inoculation drive will kick off at the Bengaluru Medical College in the presence of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and State Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar. “The vaccines will be distributed at 243 centres across the state. Covishield vaccines would be administered at 237 centres and the Covaxin shots would be given at the remaining 6 places,” Sudhakar said.
The health minister on Friday held a video conference with all deputy commissioners, chief executive officers of zilla panchayats and district health officers for last-minute stock-taking ahead of the vaccination drive.
“All vaccination centres, including ten in Bengaluru, are ready and equipped for the launch of the first phase of inoculation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the vaccination drive,” he said.
“Covaxin doses have been dispatched to six centres – in Bellary, Shivamogga, Hassan, Chikmagalur, Chamarajanagar and Davangere,” he added.
“Health workers, and not politicians, who are on the frontlines in the fight against the pandemic, have been given priority. Those with comorbid conditions are next on the priority list,” Sudhakar said.
A total 7,17,439 health warriors across the state will be vaccinated in the first phase and the health department has set sights on vaccinating 24,300 people on the first day itself. “We have 8,14,500 doses of the vaccines and the initial phase is expected to completed within a week,” the minister said.
“Emergency medical service has been made available at all vaccination sites in case someone complains of any side effects. People are being misled through rumours that are floating around on social media. People should only trust information shared on official government handles,” the minister said.
The state health department has registered health warriors, police personnel and Pourakarmikas (sanitation workers) in the first phase. Sudhakar said ten walk-in coolers, four walk-in freezers, 3,210 ILRs, 3,312 cold boxes, 46,591 vaccine carriers and 2,25,749 ice packs have been made available to store the vaccines.
“There is no need to panic on the vaccines’ safety and efficacy. They have undergone clinical trials and are safe. The state is fully prepared to begin the vaccination drive,” Sudhakar said.
After receiving the vaccine shot, each person will be kept under observation for 30 minutes at the designated healthcare centres, officials said.
“The vaccine will be administered in two doses. The second dose will be administered 28 days after the first. Immunity response will be triggered after 45 days. One has to be careful till the 45 days are over,” Sudhakar said. All centres have been instructed to cap the number of vaccines administered in a day to 100.
In Bengaluru, 1.71 lakh health workers will receive the vaccine in phase one. The state’s share of Covishield doses will be delivered to vaccine centres from designated cold chain points on the day of vaccination, health officials said. The second dose will be administered after 28 days.