Irregular vaccine supply from the Union government has meant that Bengaluru has failed to maintain its target of one lakh daily doses for COVID-19 vaccination over the last month. This, despite Karnataka planning a special drive on June 21 on the occasion of summer solstice which marked the beginning of the revised vaccination policy rollout. More than 1.73 lakh vaccines were administered on that day. Since then, only on four days has the number of daily doses recorded risen above the one-lakh mark.
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Special Commissioner for Health, D Randeep, IAS, said, â€śWhile there is a supply of vaccines from the Union government (via state government), the number is lesser compared to what we can actually consume on the ground.â€ť It is to be noted that the one lakh target was set inclusive of vaccines given at private hospitals as well as by the BBMP, to prevent a third wave of coronavirus infections.
According to BBMP War Room data, in the 31 days between June 7 and July 7, the average daily doses administered are 78,497. Recently, the numbers have shown a steady decline with the average daily doses administered daily dropping to 77,618 between June 28 and July 7. Comparatively, the 10-day period between June 18-June 27 saw a daily average of 85,366 jabs given. The number of vaccine shots given on July 8 was less than the 70,000-mark.
The shortage has also meant that the government-run free vaccination drive is yet to begin for beneficiaries of the age group of 18-44 years who donâ€™t fall in the priority groups. Randeep said that the decision to open up vaccination drives for the 18-44 age group in government centres lies with the state government.
Meanwhile, college students, who are now a priority group, have seen improvement in vaccination figures. As of July 8, more than 50% (31,826 out of 62,255) of students and staff of government and government-aided degree colleges have got at least a single dose of the vaccine in Bengaluru. Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister, Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, who is also the head of the COVID-19 Task Force, said, â€śIn the student group, 31,147 are vaccinated out of a total of 59,179, which covers 52.63% of the group. And among the staff, out of 3,076 people, 2,518 are vaccinated which tallies to 81.86%.â€ť