COVID-19 vaccination will be moved out of hospitals and primary health care centres in Karnataka, said Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwathnarayan on Saturday. Instead, the vaccination drive will take place in schools and colleges across the state. Ashwathnarayan, who also heads the COVID-19 task force in the state announced, “All activities pertaining to vaccination in hospitals and primary health centres will be halted. The government has decided to continue the vaccination in schools and colleges to make the inoculation drive more effective.” He made the announcement in Bengaluru after a meeting with the officials of the task force.
The Deputy CM also announced that those working in the banking, postal services sector, street vendors, delivery agents, essential service providers along with the workers in the crematorium will be treated as frontline workers and will be vaccinated. The Deputy CM who also holds the Higher Education portfolio said that the crematorium workers will also receive benefits under Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojna scheme for low-income communities.
While speaking to the media, Ashwathnarayan said that those who have received the first dose of Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech will receive their second doses and only after that the government will administer the first dose to those who are 45 years of age and above.
Meanwhile, those who received Covishield 12-16 weeks ago will be administered the second dose. Earlier, the gap between two doses of Covishield was six to eight weeks which was extended to 12-16 weeks by the Union government on May 13 after the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization’s recommendation.
Speaking on the vaccination of the 18-44 age group, Ashwathnarayan told the press, “The [state] government has decided to proceed with the vaccination only after it has developed a portal like Cowin. The state’s portal will be linked to Cowin.” He added that the two-crore global tender that the Karnataka government was set to float to procure vaccines will further be divided into four tenders of 50 lakhs each.