62% of designated beneficiaries vaccinated on day one in Karnataka

PTI, Jan 17, 2021, 12:08 PM IST

Bengaluru: An estimated 62 per cent of the designated beneficiaries earmarked for Saturday were administered the COVID-19 vaccine, the Karnataka government said, as the first phase of the vaccination drive began in the State.

The exercise began at 243 sites across the State, including 10 in Bengaluru and the number of sites is said to “exponentially” raise from Monday.

”The vaccination drive began at around 11:30 am instead of 9 am due to the PM’s programme, and ended at 5 pm. On the first day, 62 per cent have undergone vaccination voluntarily till 4 pm, it was promising and a happy thing,” State health Minister K Sudhakar said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said 21,658 people were earmarked for vaccination on the first day, of whom 13,408 have been vaccinated.

”No serious complications or side effects were reported from anywhere. A few people had slight pain or swelling at the spot where they were injected, but it was fine without any treatment in 30 minutes time, and they have left for home,” he said, adding that both Covishield and Covaxin administered.

The health department said Covishield was being administered 237 centres and Covaxin in six centres in Bellary, Shivamogga, Hassan, Chikmagalur, Chamarajnagar and Davanegere.

Expressing confidence that more people will get vaccinated in the coming days, the Minister said vaccination would be done at more sites from Monday in a full-fledged way.

Some private hospitals who did not start the drive today would join from Sunday, he said.

”Highest 84 per cent vaccination was in Kodagu district, second is Uttara Kannada with 80 per cent. The least is Dakshina Kannada with only 37 per cent. Of the targeted 600 people, only 223 were vaccinated… reason is not known.. people there are educated, I appeal to them,” he added.

In Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike limits it was 65 per cent and 53 per cent in Bengaluru urban, he said, adding that ”as per observation big facilities or places have seen less turnout, while small centres or places have more turnout.

The Minister noted that 7,43,000 people have been identified for the vaccination in the first phase and about 8 lakh doses of vaccine have been received.

Sudhakar said the Karnataka government has requested the centre to provide an additional eight lakh doses of vaccine.

Nagaratna K (28), a ward attendant at Victoria Hospital, was the first to receive the shot in the presence of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, Health Minister Sudhakar, among others, at Bangalore Medical College, soon after PM Narendra Modi launched the drive nationally through video conferencing.

Yediyurappa and other dignitaries greeted Nagaratna, who hails from a village near Bidadi, with rose flowers after she received the vaccine.

”….no one needs to worry or fear about the vaccine, and we should be proud that they are produced in the country,” Yediyurappa said.

Asked when he will take the vaccine, the 77-year-old CM said ”Whenever they ask me to take, at that time I’m going to take.”

Several doctors and health experts, including noted nephrologist and chairman of Manipal Hospitals Sudarshan Ballal, Dr M K Sudarshan, Chairman of the Karnataka government’s COVID-19 technical advisory committee and Dr V Ravi, former HOD, Department of Neurovirology at NIMHANS also got vaccinated.

”Today I have taken the first dose of COVID vaccine at Victoria Hospital, it was absolutely painless. I have completed my 30 minutes of observation. It has been uneventful,” Dr MK Sudarshan said.

Calling on the people to take the vaccine whenever it is offered to them as it protects them from the disease and its bad consequences, he said the benefit of vaccination clearly outweighs the risk of disease.

”I have taken the vaccine to give a message to my countrymen that the vaccine is safe and will be helpful.” Dr V Ravi asked people not to believe rumours being spread on social media on the vaccine. ”I have taken Covishield, it is a very good vaccine. Everyone will get protection from it. There is a lot of evidence to say this vaccine is safe.”

He said he felt no side effects, half an hour after getting inoculated.

Officials said all arrangements are in place and there are observation rooms to take care of those vaccinated even if they experienced a slight side effect after getting the shots.

The government also requested people not to pay heed to rumours and look for official information on the vaccination.

The government has said health warriors in the forefront in the fight against Corona will be given priority and those with comorbidities are the next priority.

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