K’taka aims to be Covid free by year-end: Health Minister

As part of the plan to make the state Covid free by December end, Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar said on Monday that the state government has launched a massive vaccination drive to inoculate anywhere between 5 and 7 lakh people on a single day.

After launching the ‘Lasika Maha Abhiyana’ (massive vaccination drive) on the occasion of International Yoga Day here, Sudhakar told reporters that the state government aims to vaccinate every eligible citizen and make the state free from Covid-19 by the end of December this year, for which the state will launch more such vaccination drives.

“Inoculating five to seven lakh people on a single day won’t be a problem as the state has a stock of about 15 lakh doses of Covishield and 6-7 lakh doses of Covaxin,” he said in response to the question.

Answering another query, Sudhakar said that after the second Covid wave, the awareness about anti-Covid vaccine has increased manifold.

“There was vaccine hesitancy during the initial days when the vaccination drives were launched, but that is no longer the case now, as people have realised that vaccine is the best way to protect them from the virus,” the minister said.

He added that Karnataka has already administered more than 1.86 crore doses in 13,000 vaccination centres across the state.

“Even if we succeed in inoculating 70-80 people per centre, we will meet our target of administering five to seven lakh doses on a single day across the state. However, active participation from the citizens is crucial for the success of such vaccination drives,” the minister said.

Sudhakar also said that the state government had decided to organise this accelerated vaccination drive to mark Interational Yoga Day on the insistence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.