July vaccine supplies not as expected, says BBMP chief

July vaccine supplies not as expected, says BBMP chief

While the state has been assured 1 crore doses in August, officials are keeping their fingers crossed regarding their supply

Representative Image. Credit: DH File Photo

The Covid vaccination drive in July was disappointing, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) acknowledged on Monday, attributing the failure to inadequate supplies. 

While the state can administer 10 lakh doses a day, it was allocated only 42 lakh doses in July and actually received only 40 lakh. Further, private hospitals were given 15 lakh doses. While they paid for 6.5 lakh doses, they were given only 4.5 lakh doses. 

Poor vaccine supply to Karnataka from the Centre continued despite former health minister K Sudhakar requesting 1.5 crore doses per month. In a representation, he said, “Karnataka has about 13,000 vaccination centres with a demonstrated capacity to administer 10 lakh doses per day.” 

While the state has been assured 1 crore doses in August, officials are keeping their fingers crossed regarding their supply. “We did not get the vaccines we expected in July,” BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta told reporters.

“In August, we are hoping we will get the expected vaccines. At least 67% of the eligible population has received the first dose and about 17% has received the second dose in the city.” 

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The supply crunch affected the BBMP’s vaccine plan in July as it administered just 19.25 lakh doses. 

'Can give 1.5L doses daily'

“We’ve demand for both the first and second doses and have the capacity of administering 1.5 lakh doses per day. We’ve made necessary preparations. We’re hoping to get more doses. If we are supplied 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh doses, the drive can be done comfortably,” he added. 

Responding to a question from DH, National Health Mission Director Arundathi Chandrashekar said recently: “From August to September 2, the state will receive 42.6 lakh doses of Covishield and 6.12 lakh doses of Covaxin. The next tranche of supply is expected on August 4 for Covaxin.” 

Arundathi added that the total doses allocated for private hospitals in August is 12,45,710 doses of Covishield and 1,93,920 doses of Covaxin. 

Poor utilisation? 

Asked about poor vaccine utilisation by the private sector, Dr H M Prasanna, president, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), said although labour welfare funds were proposed to be used to buy vaccines under Karnataka’s private quota, the labour commissioner was awaiting a written order from the chief secretary.