A total of 11,985 of the targeted 19,789 healthcare workers, who were due for the second dose of vaccination in the State, got inoculated on day one of the second dose drive that began on Monday.
The second doses of Covishield and Covaxin, the two vaccines approved, are recommended to be administered four weeks apart, according to guidelines from the Drug Controller General of India.
While some international studies and an expert panel from the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggested that the vaccines can be more effective when given apart even in a 6-12 week window, India’s current policy does not recommend such a wide spacing.
COVID-19 experts in the State have also suggested that giving the second dose after eight weeks not only provides higher efficacy but will also give ample time to plan and cover more people.
Following this, there were reports that most healthcare workers in Karnataka are reluctant to take the second dose. However, on the first day, 60.56% of the targeted workers for the day got inoculated and this is a good sign, said officials.
There was confusion over the beginning of second dose in private hospitals on the first day. Vaccination officers in private hospitals said they had not received the list of beneficiaries scheduled for second dose of vaccination.
In government hospitals
However, State Deputy Director (Immunisation) Rajani Nageshrao said the second dose drive had started only in government hospitals as of now. “In the initial days after the vaccine was rolled out, we had the vaccination drive first in government hospitals and medical colleges,” she said. “Also, because of issues on the Co-Win portal, some data was recorded offline and then uploaded on the portal. All these will be taken into consideration andThe second dose will be scheduled in private hospitals too in a day or two,” she said.
According to data shared by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Vijayapura recorded the highest number (2,277) of healthcare workers who took the second dose. Mandya (1,179) and Kodagu (1,145) followed Vijayapura in reporting the next highest coverage. While Belagavi reported zero coverage, Bidar recorded 26%.
Meanwhile, as on Monday, a total of 4,10,953 of the targeted 8,21,939 healthcare workers and 89,938 of the targeted 2,88,441 frontline workers have been administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine registering a coverage of 50% and 31% respectively.
Overall (healthcare workers first and second dose and frontline workers first dose) the State recorded a coverage of 26% on Monday and 46% cumulatively.
The State has so far has received a total of 15,52,000 doses of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines. While a total of 5,12,876 healthcare and frontline workers being vaccinated so far including the second dose, around 30,000 doses have been wasted due to various reasons.
Health officials said the State now has a stock of nearly 10 lakh doses and vaccination for the remaining healthcare and frontline workers (for the first dose) will also continue simultaneously.
In Karnataka, a total of 13,408 healthcare workers had taken the vaccine on Day 1 of the drive that began on January 16. Most were administered Covishield and were due for the second dose on February 13.