Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has kick-started the mega Covid-19 vaccination drive for about 31.75 lakh beneficiaries belonging to 15 to 18 years on Monday. The authorities have set a target of 6 lakh children and youth on the first day.
The Covid vaccination drive will be conducted in as many as 4,160 vaccination centers across the state. The thrust has been laid to vaccinate in school and college premises. The authorities are planning to cover those also who are not studying in the primary health centers.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai inaugurated the vaccination drive at the BBMP College in Basaveshwara Nagar locality of Govindarajanagar. The campaign was also inaugurated across the state by local representatives. Separate arrangements are made to identify and vaccinate those who are not in the stream of education.
Elaborate arrangements have been made at the vaccination centers. Three rooms are being used for the vaccination drive. Separate rooms have been arranged for registration, vaccination and resting. Among 31.75 lakh beneficiaries in the state, as many as 7 lakh are in Bengaluru.
The state government is utilising the stock of 16 lakh doses of Covaxin vaccines as the second dose could be administered in another 28 days. The children can enroll in the CoWin portal or they could get vaccinated by giving an Aadhaar card or school identity card.
The labour department, rural and panchayat department and urban development departments’ help and coordination has been sought by the health department to identify and vaccinate those who are not studying.
Sources in the health department stated that the Karnataka state government has to date vaccinated 76 per cent of the targeted population in terms of Covid vaccinations. Though jabbing 100 per cent beneficiaries still remains a top priority, the vaccination drive for 15 to 18 years of age people will also be focused as this age segment has not received a single shot of Covid vaccination.
The initiative will be taken with a missionary zeal in the wake of fears of the Omicron variant and the third wave of Covid. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) authorities are taking up all required preparations for the mega exercise of vaccination of about 7 lakh children between the ages of 15 to 18 years in Bengaluru alone.
The authorities have collected zonal data of children studying in private as well as government schools and colleges in the city. The authorities are ready with the required strength of staff to be deputed to schools and colleges to ensure vaccination of school and college children across the state.
In Bengaluru, the BBMP is also planning to cover children who are not in the stream of education. NGOs help is being taken to identify children in this age group in slums and industrial areas.
Along with this, the BBMP is also gearing up to administer booster doses for the frontline workers and health staff, who are identified as Covid warriors from January 10, according to sources.