After healthcare workers, the vaccination drive for frontline workers in Karnataka began on Monday.
According to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, as many as 18,763 frontline workers were vaccinated on Monday. A total of 22% of the 87,105 targeted frontline workers were vaccinated. Those vaccinated included pourakarmikas, police personnel and officials of the Revenue and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj departments, among others.
In some districts, the response was poor. The lowest target of 5% was achieved by Chamarajnagar. The highest percentage was in Uttara Kannada district where 45% of the frontline workers took the jab.
Ramesh, a pourakarmika who works at the Dattathreya Temple ward in Bengaluru, was one of the first frontline workers to be vaccinated in the presence of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa at the K.C. General Hospital. He said he was eagerly waiting to get vaccinated as he spends a significant part of the day on the field which puts him at risk.
“Many of my colleagues are worried about getting vaccinated. Hopefully, they will see people like me as examples and get vaccinated quickly,” he said. He said he had mild fever and doctors had clearly briefed him of the possible side effects after vaccination.
In many districts, Deputy Commissioners and senior IPS officials took the jab to build confidence and encourage their staff to take the vaccine.
The vaccination for frontline workers took place in all districts in the State barring Kodagu, where it will begin from Tuesday.
In many districts, the number of people to be vaccinated at each site was increased from 100 to 200 as both healthcare workers and frontline workers had to be administered the vaccine. For instance, in Mysuru, unlike the vaccine sessions for the healthcare workers where a maximum of 100 persons a day could be vaccinated, the vaccination centres had been told to administer a maximum of 200 beneficiaries a day in the second phase. Some frontline workers who had co-morbid conditions and those who were on immune suppressants drugs said they would write to the government to leave them out of the list of beneficiaries, a Health department official in Mysuru said.
In addition, 23% of the targeted 20,754 healthcare workers were vaccinated on Monday. The vaccination for health care workers did not take place in 21 out of the 30 districts as the focus was on vaccinating frontline workers.
Sources said in Mysuru that the vaccinated healthcare workers would be getting their second dose from the third week of this month, based on the date of their immunisation, completing 28 days from the first dose.