Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar has said the government is aiming to make Bengaluru the first metro city in India to completely vaccinate all its eligible residents against COVID-19.
"The aim is to fully vaccinate the entire eligible population by the end of December," the minister said.
The government has set a target of vaccinating five lakh people every day and on Wednesday (September 1), a special vaccination drive will be carried out to vaccinate 10 lakh people.
Sudhakar said the state was provided 1.10 crore vaccines in August, adding that the supply has increased after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and he discussed the matter with the Centre.
"We are aiming to make Bengaluru the first metro city to complete vaccination for all its eligible residents. We want to vaccinate five lakh people every day from now onwards. On Wednesday during special vaccination drive the target is to vaccinate at least 10 lakh people. This will ensure 1.5-2 crore doses in one month," he said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Sudhakar said that four crore vaccinations have been completed in the state, including one crore in the Bengaluru municipal limits.
Measures will be initiated to increase the number of vaccinations in Bidar, Yadgir, Raichur and Kalaburagi districts, the minister said, adding that special drive will be conducted for slum dwellers everyday which will enable staff to conduct the drive at every slum.
Priority will be given to border districts of Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.
Sudhakar indicated that the government is inclined to reopen classes for standard six to eight, which have not yet started for over one-and-half years since the COVID-19 outbreak.
"The government is going to take a decision on opening schools for classes from six to eight. No major side effects took place after opening of schools (from ninth standard) and colleges," Sudhakar told reporters after a meeting.
He added that his department has recommended "some strong decision" in regards to the academic field.
He also appealed for cooperation from the public in fighting COVID-19. "We should have a futuristic view. The third wave should not affect us, people should not die. We have made all kinds of arrangements for public health but prevention is important," Sudhakar said.
According to the minister, the government has taken strong measures at the airport where people coming from abroad will have to compulsorily undergo COVID tests.
Regarding public anger against restrictions during the Ganesha festival, Sudhakar said, "The government is not happy by imposing restrictions. We want religious festivals to happen and religious harmony is maintained but at the same time, steps to contain spread of the disease are equally important. The government takes a decision based on the situation."(With PTI inputs)