Covid vaccine for 16 lakh frontline warriors in K’taka: CM Yediyurappa

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Covid vaccine for 16 lakh frontline warriors in K’taka: CM Yediyurappa

Bengaluru: About 16 lakh frontline warriors across Karnataka would get Covid vaccine in phase one from January 16, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said on Monday.

“Sixteen lakh frontline workers will be given the second dose of the vaccine 28 days after the first jab from January 16 onwards across the state,” said Yediyurappa after participating in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s virtual meeting with chief ministers of all the states on vaccine roll-out.

Modi told the chief ministers during the interaction that the Centre would bear the cost of vaccinating 3 crore frontline warriors across the country in phase one.

The warriors include workers from the state’s health, revenue and police departments who have been involved in the fight against the pandemic since mid-March last year.

“Vaccines will be administered at 235 sites across the state. Cold chains have been set up to store Covishield and Covaxin vaccines in all the 30 districts. Task forces have been formed to supervise the exercise,” Yediyurappa said in a statement.

The state will get 13.90 lakh doses of vaccine in the first phase for all the frontline warriors.

The state health department conducted two dry runs to test the vaccination drive at 281 primary health centres in all the districts of the state on January 8 and in 5 districts on January 2.

“Arrangements have been made for the vaccination drive across the state. The Centre has assured to supply additional walk-in freezers,” said Yediyurappa.

Asserting that both the vaccines are safe to use, state Health Minister K. Sudhakar said clinical trials have proven their safety and efficacy.

“People with comorbidities and senior citizens above 50 years will also be given the vaccine on priority basis in the second and third stages of the exercise free of cost,” Sudhakar told reporters after participating in the virtual meet with Modi.

Covishield has been developed by Pune-based Serum Institute of India while Covaxin has been developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Ltd.

“As immunity will develop in all the warriors after the second dose, they have to be careful for 45 days from the day they take the first dose,” said Sudhakar, who is a medical doctor by profession.

The health department has also set up storage facility in each district with 2,767 cold chain points across the state.

“We have two vaccine storages at Bengaluru and Belagavi for distribution through five regional storage centres at Bagalakote, Chitradurga, Dakshina Kannada, Kalaburagi and Mysuru,” said the minister.

“The vaccines will be sent to the regional storage centres through 900 carriers. We can store 45 lakh dosages in each of the two walk-in coolers in Bengaluru. The state government has already procured 24 lakh syringes for the first phase of vaccine administration,” Sudhakar said.

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