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Karnataka to receive 13.90 lakh Covid-19 vaccine vials in a couple of days: Health Minister

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Friday said the state is expected to receive 13.9 lakh vials of Covid-19 vaccine in a day or two.

“The big good news for Karnataka is that I have received information from the Union Health Ministry that tomorrow or the day after probably we will be receiving 13,90,000 vials of vaccine for the state. It’s big happy news for all of us,” Sudhakar said on Thursday.

“We have registered 6.30 lakh healthcare professionals in Karnataka till date. Those who are left out, maybe in some medical or dental colleges, we have requested them to register,” he said, adding that health workers will be followed by those with comorbidities, those above 60 years and those in other departments like Police and Revenue working against the pandemic.

Speaking to reporters at Aster CMI hospital, Yelahanka, one of the eight health facilities in Bengaluru where Covid-19 vaccination dry run was being conducted, he said, the vaccination will be first administered to health care workers.

Dr Rajani Nageshrao, Deputy Director, Immunisation, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Karnataka said, “The vaccine consignment will be sent by air to Karnataka. It will initially be kept at Bangalore and Belagavi state vaccine stores and then be distributed. The Bangalore vaccine store is in Anand Rao Circle where the old Health Department office used to be. Each vial has ten doses. One consignment of 1,13,400 vials will be flown from Pune to Bengaluru and another consignment of 25,800 vials will be flown from Pune to Belagavi. The supplier is currently waiting for Government of India’s instructions to dispatch. One walk-in-cooler is sufficient to store these vials.”

Dr Ishwar Gadad, In-charge District Immunisation Officer, Belagavi, said, “Our walk-in cooler has 6,000 litres capacity, which means we can store 13 lakh doses. The 25,000 odd vials that they’re sending amounts to 2.5 lakh doses. The walk-in cooler will have four lakh vaccine doses of the routine immunisation programme. In all, we’ll hold 6.5 lakh doses of vaccine in this store, which is recognised as a state vaccine store.”

Tilakawadi Vaccine Depot, where the Belagavi State Vaccine Store is located, is spread over a sprawling 160 acres. The distance between this depot and the domestic Belagavi Airport is 10 km. A pharmacy officer has already been deputed to a vaccine van which is currently stationed at the depot. This vaccine van will be used to ferry the vaccines from the airport to the depot.

“From here, we will send it to eight more districts: Bijapur, Bagalkot, Koppal, Gadag, Belagavi, Karwar, Dharwad, and Haveri. They will bring insulated vaccine vans and we will pack it with ice packs, and give it to them in cold boxes. The state has informed us that the vaccine consignment can come anytime. We will go to the airport once it comes,” Gadad added.

Covid-19 vaccination dry run is underway at 263 health facilities across Karnataka on Friday. Singasandra Primary Health Centre, Sapthagiri Medical College (Private), Ulsoor Referral Hospital, K R Puram General Hospital, Kengeri Community Health Centre, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (Private), Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) are the other health facilities where the dry run was underway from 9 am to 11 am on Friday. The minister, who visited some of these facilities, said, arrangements and preparedness were quite good, and the process is being followed as per the guidelines.

The dry run is being held in 24 district hospitals, 20 medical colleges, 43 taluk hospitals, 31 community health centres, 87 primary health centres, 30 urban primary health centres and 28 private facilities in the state.

The first round of the dry run, an exercise for end-to-end testing of Covid-19 vaccination process was held in five districts of Karnataka: Bengaluru (including BBMP), Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Mysuru and Shivamogga, on December 2.

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