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COVID-19 vaccination for adults: 16 districts in Karnatakaachieve 100% second-dose coverage

Sixteen districts in Karnataka have achieved 100% second-dose coverage, while 14 have crossed 95% coverage as of Sunday. Overall, 99% of the adult population in Karnataka is now fully vaccinated.

These 16 districts include Bengaluru Rural, Kodagu, Mandya, Hassan, Chickballapur, Kolar, and almost all north Karnataka districts. 

From 51% on November 16 last year, the second-dose coverage in the State shot up to cross 80% on January 6 this year. It took over a month to cover another 10% and cross 90% by February 10. Subsequently, the second-dose vaccination slowed down and touched 99% only on May 15.

The first-dose coverage has stood at 102%, exceeding the target population of 4.89 crore. Officials said this is because the target population is only an estimate of the 2011 census.

According to data from CoWIN and the State Health Department, the second-dose coverage in 16 districts is above the State average of 99%. While Kolar and Bidar have achieved 106% coverage, Gadag has achieved 105%. Bengaluru Rural, Kodagu, Mandya, and Vijayaura have achieved 103% coverage. Bengaluru Urban (including BBMP), which was the first district in Karnataka to achieve 100% second-dose coverage on December 23, has now achieved 97% second-dose coverage.

Six districts close to 100%

While four districts, Ballari, Udupi, Koppal, and Chamarajanagar, have achieved 99% coverage, Tumakuru and Mysuru follow with 98% coverage. Officials said these districts will soon touch 100%.

Among the remaining districts, while Uttara Kannada has achieved 95% and Ramanagaram 96% coverage, the remaining have 97% coverage.

Precaution dose progress low

The initial enthusiasm shown for the precaution (third/booster) dose seems to have subsided with a mere 25% of the eligible adult population coming forward. After the third wave waned, people are not very keen on taking the booster shot, said officials. 

The Centre had rolled out precaution dose administration for senior citizens, healthcare and frontline workers across the country on January 10 and for all others above 18 years from April 10.

While it is given free of cost for senior citizens, healthcare and frontline workers in government-run vaccination centres, the remaining population has to get it at private centres by paying ₹386.25 per dose.

Despite concerns about a fourth wave hitting the State in June, only 19,37,518 people of the total target population of 76,76,381 (including healthcare workers, frontline workers, and other citizens above 18 years) have taken the booster dose. 

Zero doses

What is striking is that in at least 10 districts, not a single precaution dose has been administered for the last few days. On Sunday, Chamarajanagar, Bagalkot, Haveri, Yadgir, Mandya, Kodagu, Vijayapura, Gadag, and Udupi saw zero booster shot vaccinations. Besides, five-six districts have been recording vaccinations in single digits.

Officials said the target population for the precaution dose keeps changing everyday. This is because the number of eligible persons who have completed nine months after their second dose increases daily. In the last week of February when the target population stood at 18,24,236, the coverage was 62%.

State Health Commissioner Randeep D. said to improve precaution dose administration among adults, the department has intensified information, education and communication (IEC) through phone calls and messages to eligible persons.

“Overall the progress in administration of precaution dose has been low. On May 12, Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar, who reviewed the progress, called upon private hospitals to improve vaccination,” the commissioner said.