COVID-19: Shivakumar challenges Karnataka govt to vaccinate 80 pc population by Sept-end
Karnataka can only be saved from the likely third wave of COVID if 80 per cent of its adult population is vaccinated with both COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of September, said Congress leader DK Shivakumar on Sunday.
"Experts are predicting that the third wave will hit us by October. However, if we fully vaccinate at least 80 per cent of the adult population by September-end, there may be no third wave. Even if there is, it will be very mild. That is why I am asking the Karnataka government if they are up for this challenge?" said the Karnataka Congress president in a statement.
Emphasising the importance of vaccination, and mentioning that the state government has, so far, vaccinated only around 7 per cent of its eligible population with both doses, he said, "The government should stop talking about how many doses it has given. What matters is a double dose. With only a single dose, there is very little protection. With both doses, there is higher protection. Studies from Mumbai, London, New York are all saying both doses will save us."
"The Karnataka government 'has to, has to, has to' give both doses to at least 80 per cent adults in the state by 30 September. Failing which, they will be responsible for the third wave," he added.
Shivakumar further said that the government may need to revise guidelines to administer the second dose of Covishield within 8 weeks as the international consensus seems to be that it is the best dosage gap to fight the 'Delta' variant.
Highlighting efforts of his party workers to combat COVID-19 spread, he said: "Congress leaders have organised their own vaccination camps. We have vaccinated 1 lakh people free of cost. We had also asked the government permission to let the Congress party procure vaccines directly from vaccine makers but they denied us the permission. We wanted to use MLA/MLC development funds for the same but our offer was not accepted. If they do not need our help, never mind. But please do mass vaccinate at great speed so that the third wave does not affect us."
Appealing to the government to vaccinate 80 per cent population before the third wave begins, the Congress leader said: "Even if the third wave comes, mass vaccination will ensure that it is very mild. We don't want lockdowns, we don't want queues in crematoria, we don't want people dying because of lack of hospital beds, we don't want the horrors of black fungus. So, on behalf of the people of Karnataka, I plead to the government to vaccinated 80 per cent in 3 months with both doses. I hope they accept my challenge."
Shivakumar will present a memorandum to the Governor about the same.