Citizens scramble for booster shots, but Covidshield unavailable in Bengaluru

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BENGALURU: With the government laying stress on the precautionary dose, as the coverage has been only about 20 per cent in the state, the demand for Covid-19 vaccination is increasing. However, with health facilities still in the dark about procuring vaccine doses, there is a shortage of Covidshield vaccines in primary health centres and hospitals in the city.

The primary health centres and hospitals have written a letter to the Health Department for the supply of Covid vaccinations. Even though there is an increasing demand for Covid vaccines, they are unavailable in hospitals. According to sources, no Covid vaccines were available in PHCs for the past one week and the number of people who received vaccines was has been less. While Covaxin vaccine is available at some places, the Covidshield vaccine, which was more widely administered, is in higher demand. To compound the problem, the older stocks have expired.

The demand for vaccination is higher after the spurt in Covid case in other countries.

Also, after Covid-19 cases started reducing, the frontline workers were sent back to their respective departments. Now, the Health Department has planned to appoint ‘Namma Clinic’ staff for Covid testing, vaccination and awareness programmes.

There is no availabilty of Covidshield vaccine in KC General Hospital.

At KC General Hospital, there is no availability of Covidshield vaccine. Citizens have asked hospital staff to inform them when vaccine stocks arrive in the hospital. At Dasappa Hospital, Jataka Stand or any other primary health centre too, there is no stock of Covishield vaccine . By the last week of January, the remaining Covid vaccines will also have expired, but reason for the shortage of Covidshield is not yet known.

Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Medical Education Dr K Sudhakar.

“We have issued an advisory on wearing masks and, based on the situation, we will make it mandatory. I don’t know about booster doses worth crores being wasted, but I know small amounts did go waste. People were eager to get vaccinated for the first two doses, but for the booster dose, no one has taken it, assuming that Covid cases have decreased”, said Dr K Sudhakar, Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education.

“Yesterday, the Technical Advisory Committee submitted its recommendations to the government. We will take action according to the state government’s guidelines. I urge people to wear masks, use sanitisers and maintain social distancing in crowded areas. The TAC gives suggestions to the state government. We will implement the rules and regulations as announced by the state”, said BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath.

BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath.

“Many people have not received a booster dose. People were not coming forward to receive it after Covid cases reduced. Now the vaccine doses are on the verge of expiry. We have written letters for more booster vaccinations. The Covaxin is available. We will collect all of the suggestions from the various associations and forward them to the Health Department. We conducted a meeting with PHANA for hospital beds and oxygen”, he added.

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