Bengaluru reports shortage after record vaccination

Days after record vaccination, Bengaluru reports shortage

On Saturday, people turning up at vaccination sites were greeted by stark notice boards reading "Closed. No vaccination available"

Several people wait outside a vaccination Center in Malleswaram to get Covid-19 vaccine in Bengaluru. Credit: DH Photo/Pushkar V

Within days of Karnataka setting a record for vaccinations, Bengaluru Urban is reporting a shortage of doses. 

On Saturday, people turning up at vaccination sites were greeted by stark notice boards reading "Closed. No vaccination available." Others who stood in long lines waiting for their turn, found that doses had run out after a few hundred people were vaccinated.

Several citizens told DH that this is the second day in a row that they were facing such problems. According to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the shortages are a result of the erratic supplies of vaccinations, which had created a domino effect of dose unavailability. 

"On Thursday, June 24, we did not receive any doses from the state government and on Friday, we received 34,300 doses of Covishield,” explained D Randeep, Special Commissioner (Health), BBMP.

Read more: Delta variant dominates vaccine-breakthrough infections among hospital staff: Study

He added that the people's clamour for Covaxin, which was at its height in April and May, had come down now. "As of today, we had 8,990 doses of Covaxin, but people are demanding Covishield instead,” he said.

Several zonal officials expressed their frustration at what they described as "erratic vaccine supplies" from the government. “This is a situation which persisted even before the record milestone of Yoga Day. Is 34,000 doses delivered on Friday an appropriate number for a city of Bengaluru’s size?” asked one zonal official who did not want to be named.

Between June 16 and June 20, first dose numbers grew at a rate of only 4.08%. From June 22 to June 26, the growth rate jumped to 10.5%. However, the total dosage numbers administered per day over these five days averaged 80,000 doses. In contrast, the BBMP administered 1.01 lakh doses on average per day for the first five days.

A south zone official said that his zone received just 6,270 doses on Saturday, resulting in angry crowds at a Girinagar vaccination site which was closed for the day.

"The doses came at around 12 noon, and had to be allotted to each of our 40 wards. This meant that each Primary Health Centre received an average of only 156 doses each. That number was quickly used up in one to one-and-a-half hours,” he said.

Several BBMP zonal officials said that considering the public’s enthusiasm for vaccines, the government should be providing a surplus of doses.

"People have been inspired to take vaccines. If they come up against repeated instances of non-availability, they will lose their interest in getting vaccinated,” the south zone official said.

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