Updated: May 12, 2021 5:06:34 am
Calling the pace of Covid-19 vaccination in the state “disturbing”, the Karnataka High Court has sought a road map from the state government by May 13 on how it intends to provide vaccines to 26 lakh beneficiaries above the age of 45, who are now due to receive their second dose, when the state only has 9.37 lakh doses of the vaccines available.
As of May 5, the court pointed out, 65.83 lakh beneficiaries across categories such as health workers, frontline workers, and those above 45 years needed a second dose of vaccine.
“We hope and trust that both the Central and the state government will take a serious note of the desperate situation in the state as regards availability of vaccines. If urgent steps are not taken to procure sufficient numbers of doses of vaccine, the very object of vaccination is likely to be frustrated, which may have a cascading effect on the spread of Covid-19,” the bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Sreenivas Oka and comprising Justice Aravind Kumar said after scrutinising the vaccination effort in the state.
“At the outset, we must record that it is a well-accepted fact that an aggressive vaccination campaign is a major step required to be taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19. However, facts and figures brought on record show that the situation regarding availability of vaccines in Karnataka is very disturbing,” the HC noted.
Approximately 16.83 lakh beneficiaries who have taken the first dose of Covishield and 9.25 lakh who have taken the first dose of Covaxin are currently due for their second doses in the 45-plus age category, the court noted.
As per submission made in the court, a total 13.36 lakh vaccine doses were allocated to Karnataka for May for the 45-plus age group, which “will not cater to the need of 26 lakh beneficiaries who have already completed the required number of days from the date of the first dose of vaccine,” the HC stated.
The HC noted that Karnataka received 1.08 crore vaccine doses until May 5 and 1 crore vaccines were administered (83.28 lakh first dose and 17.44 lakh with second dose).
Although the state government had placed indents on April 22 and 29 with Union government for 2 crore doses of Covishield and on May 3 for 1 crore doses of Covaxin for those in the 18 to 44 age bracket, only 6.50 lakh doses of Covishield had been supplied so far, the court was informed.
The bench said that the Centre must approach vaccine suppliers to provide the required quantity of vaccines in Karnataka to inoculate people in 18-44 age group as well. The HC gave the Centre time until May 13 for compliance with its order.
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