Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar Tuesday claimed that the state is likely to get Covid-19 vaccines in early 2021. “There are all possibilities to get Covid-19 vaccines at the beginning of 2021 itself,” he said after a meeting in Bengaluru with officials of the Astra Zeneca company, involved in research and trial of Covid vaccines.
“The first phase trial of the vaccine developed by Oxford/AstraZeneca has been completed in collaboration with the Serum Institute of India (Pune) and has shown encouraging results. While the first trial was conducted in 56 people, the second and third phase trials will have 1600 participants,” Sudhakar added.
While the first trials were conducted on healthy persons who were not infected, the consequent levels will involve people who have recovered from coronavirus infection. “If the trials are successful we will be issuing vaccines in the state once the central government approves it,” he said.
Earlier, the Minister stated that a technical committee comprising health experts, epidemiologists, technology partners, and logistical partners with the assistance of the Union Health Ministry would be formed to ensure that the vaccine reaches the nook and corner of the state.
He further said ‘corona warriors’, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, support staff, and healthcare workers, would be the first beneficiaries of the vaccine followed by senior citizens, patients with co-morbidities, and lactating mothers among others. “A final decision on this will be taken within a week,” he said.
Meanwhile, the total number of Covid-19 tests that took place in Karnataka recorded a steep drop on Tuesday with only 66,701 samples being tested across the state, also indicating the lowest daily test count this month. Before this, the least number of samples tested in a day was on October 5, when the count was 67,303.
However, the positivity rate increased to 5.53 per cent in the last 24 hours as 3,681 more people contracted coronavirus infection. As many as 7,740 people recovered from the same on Tuesday. Of these, 1874 new cases and 7,740 discharges were reported from Bengaluru alone as the total tally in the city since March 8 rose to over 3.29 lakh. The death toll rose to 10,991 as 44 more deaths in the last few days were linked to the pandemic on Tuesday.
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