The people of Karnataka, who did not take Covid vaccine shots despite several appeals by the state government, are now thronging the vaccination centers amid fears of new Covid variant Omicron and the outbreak of a possible third wave of the pandemic as new figures show.
The primary health centres (PHCs) of the state, which witnessed low turnout till last week, are now recording large footfalls amid the the fear of the new Covid variant. The state health minister and has repeatedly made appeals to people not to neglect vaccination, social distancing and asked people to wear masks at public places.
The new surge in cases started in the last week of October when 32 students of the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya residential school of Galibeedu village near Madikeri tested had positive for Covid in Kodagu district of Karnataka bordering Kerala.
There has been an increase in the number of persons who took the first dose, which rose to 7 lakh last week as compared to 4-5 lakh earlier, according to the state health department data.
Between November 20 and 27, as many as 27.64 lakh people have taken the vaccine shots, marking an increase in numbers when compared to the previous two weeks. About 20.90 lakh doses were administered between November 13 and 20, while 17.54 lakh persons took the shot between November 6 and 13.
The health department has set a target of achieving 100 per cent vaccination by December end. However, 43 lakh people will have to get their first dose of vaccination.
"Earlier, people complained about non-availability of vaccine shots. Now we have a stock of 80 lakh doses but people are not coming forward," Helath Minister K. Sudhakar had said earlier.
The state has identified 4.87 crore eligible population for Covid vaccination. So far, 4.44 crore people have been jabbed. To achieve the target, 1.5 lakh people will have to be vaccinated everyday with the first dose. Till 9 pm on Sunday, the state had administered 7,32,82,587 vaccine doses.
Karnataka is in the seventh place in the country in terms of vaccination after Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar, the health department said.
(With inputs from IANS)