Health Minister tells those aged between 18 to 44 not to queue up for vaccination yet

Karnataka to procure 2 crore more doses of vaccine, in addition to 1 crore earlier

Officially announcing that the fourth-phase vaccination for those aged between 18 and 44 will not take off on May 1 as announced, Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar on Friday appealed to all beneficiaries in this category to refrain from visiting hospitals for vaccination from Saturday.

Meanwhile, the State government had already placed orders for 1 crore doses of vaccines and on Friday it decided on placing orders for 2 crore more doses. “The manufacturers are yet to officially give us confirmation as to when they will be able to deliver. Till we intimate you, please do not visit hospitals although you have enrolled on the CoWIN portal,” the Minister said.

He said the State will seek the Centre’s intervention in getting the stocks on priority for Karnataka, whiich is reporting a massive surge in cases. The State has an estimated 3.5 crore people in this category. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Thursday said that the fourth phase of vaccination will be taken up “in stages.”

Asserting that the ongoing drive for people above 45 years will continue, Dr. Sudhakar said the State has stocks and is getting additional supplies from the Centre for the ongoing drive. “There are no hurdles in administering the second dose to those who have taken the first dose,” Dr. Sudhakar said.

While Serum Institute of India (SII) manufactures 5-6 crore doses of Covishield, Bharat Biotech manufactures 1-1.25 crore doses a month. Russia’s Sputnik V, which will be manufactured by Dr. Reddy’s, is yet to come, he said.

“Out of around 99.5 lakh doses received, the State has administered over 95 lakh doses. Our vaccine wastage is only 1.4%. An additional 4 lakh doses arrived on Thursday. I have been informed that we have around 6 lakh doses with us as of now,” said Dr. Sudhakar.

Meanwhile, the State’s COVID-19 task force headed by Deputy Chief Minister Govind M. Karjol, has given its nod for the State to place orders for an additional 2 crore doses. While a requisition for 1 crore doses of Covishield at ₹300 per dose will be sent to SII, another 1 crore of Covaxin doses at ₹400 per dose will be sent to Bharat Biotech. This is apart from the earlier order of 1 crore doses.

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