Karnataka Health Minister Dr Sudhakar said on May 8 that the existing stock of Covishield and Covaxin in the state will be used to vaccinate those above 45. This effectively means that while vaccination has opened up for those above 18, they will not have the option of getting vaccinated at government facilities. While some private hospitals such as Apollo and Manipal are doing vaccinations for people above 18, the slots have been quite limited and usually get booked within minutes of opening up.
In a tweet, Sudhakar said on Saturday: “70% of the available stock of Covishield will be utilised to vaccinate 45+ who are due for 2nd dose and rest 30% will be used to vaccinate 45+ seeking 1st dose. Covaxin will be administered only to 45+ who are due for 2nd dose after 6 weeks of 1st dose.”
This is also in line with what the Union government has said. On May 7, the government directed states to prioritise those due for their second vaccine dose. The directions also said that vaccine doses being provided through the Government of India channel should be used to inoculate those above 45, and frontline and healthcare workers only. “Utilise supplies of vaccines through government of India channel in 70:30 ratio for the second dose and first dose respectively,” said Arti Ahuja, Additional Secretary, Health, at the COVID-19 briefing.
Notably, Telangana also made a similar announcement on May 7, saying it would prioritise those needing a second COVID-19 vaccination dose from May 8 to 15. It added that no one will be given the first dose of the vaccine between May 8 and 12. The Telangana government has a stock of only 3.75 lakh vaccine doses. “In light of low allocation of vaccine till May 15, (4.69 lakh of Covishield and 2.16 lakh of Covaxin) and in order to optimally utilize the available doses, special drive has been launched to cover people who are eligible for 2nd dose,” a statement by Director of Public Health (DPH) said.