6 months on, Karnataka yet to fully jab healthcare and frontline staff | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: About 2.3 lakh healthcare and frontline workers in Karnataka have not got even one dose of Covid-19 vaccine as on July 31. Health department data shows that nearly 1.3 lakh HCWs and over 1 lakh FLWs are in this category.
Vaccination for healthcare workers began on February 8 in Karnataka. While over 9 lakh HCWs were registered, 5.5 lakh have got both doses, and nearly 2.5 lakh are partially vaccinated. Over 10.2 lakh FLWs are enrolled, of which 5.7 lakh have got only one dose and 3.4 lakh are fully vaccinated. This category was prioritised when vaccination was rolled out across the country. The objective was to complete inoculating them first before the general public. Data shows this has not been achieved even after six months.
‘Many jabbed, data not updated’
In Bengaluru, 54,031 HCWs are yet to get even one dose but the data may be flawed, said Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association. “Several doctors work in multiple hospitals as consultants. Their names have been repeated and that inflates th number of workers,” said Dr HM Prasanna, president, PHANA. Some HCWs have deliberately avoided vaccination, he admitted.
“Some HCWs, who hadn’t taken the vaccine when it was launched in January 2021, got infected during the peak in April and May. They have to complete three months from the time of infection to get the jab and may take it in August or September,” he added. Health department authorities claim the issue is not about vaccine hesitancy but data. “There are concerns about data inconsistency and it’s being reconciled,” said Dr Arundhathi Chandrashekar, mission director, National Health Mission, Karnataka.
“Many FCWs workers have already received the second dose, but it’s not reflected in data. That could be a reason for higher number of first dose and partial vaccination categories,” said Dr Chandrashekar. She added that many HCWs and FLWs missed the jabs in January and February and took the first dose in April and May.
Multiple hospitals said over 95% of staffers have been vaccinated, with stray cases of doctors choosing not to get jabbed. During the recent post-graduate medical course exams, an external examiner in a city-based private college was found unvaccinated. “He is a senior surgeon. Vaccination is a must for all those taking part in the examination process,” said sources.
According to Dr BK Vijendra, chief health officer, BBMP, data doesn’t reflect the total number of beneficiaries as many haven’t downloaded certificates. Officers said those who passed out from nursing colleges in 2020 were added to the list and his resulted in higher numbers. “Some non-allopathic doctors and medicos showed reluctance. If Ayush medical college faculty have reservations about vaccination, students follow suit,” said officials.

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