Bengaluru: After Tamil Nadu, Karnataka decided to float a global tender to procure two crore additional vaccines to battle the shortage on Thursday.
"We have already placed a purchase order for three crore vaccine doses -- 2 crore doses of Covishield and one crore doses of Covaxin," Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said.
"Overall, our objective is to procure five crore doses for the 18-44 age group. Therefore, we have placed a purchase order for three crore doses and have also decided to float a global tender to procure two crore additional doses," he added.
Virologist Gagandeep Kang has also been appointed as an adviser on vaccination strategy. Referring to Kang, the CM said, "She (Kang) is a member of several advisory committees for the World Health Organization (WHO), mainly related to research and use of vaccines." Kang had also played a major part in the development of Rotavac, a Bharat Biotech international vaccine for diarrhoea.
The Chief Minister said that the Union government had supplied a total of 1.10 crore doses, the 14.87 lakh recipients of which are eligible for the second shot and 5.10 lakh beneficiaries completed four weeks after taking the first dose of Covaxin. He further added that it is important to complete the second doses as soon as possible to ensure protection for those who received the first.
"Therefore, we have decided to utilise the entire stock available with us for administering the second dose to the eligible beneficiaries. A total of 19.97 lakh people were eligible for the second dose as of May 12," he said.