Shivakumar "challenges" K''taka govt to vaccinate 80% adult population in 3 months

Source: PTI | Published on 4th July 2021, 6:52 PM | State News |

Bengaluru: Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar on Sunday threw a "challenge" to the state government to vaccinate 80 per cent of the adult population with both doses by September-end, as he stated that doing so can save people from the third wave of COVID-19.

"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''s why Im asking the Karnataka government if they are up for this challenge?" Shivakumar said.

Emphasising the importance of vaccination, he said, the Karnataka government has so far given only around 7 per cent of the eligible population both doses.

"The government should stop talking about how many doses it has given. What matters is double dose. With only a single dose, there is very little protection. With both doses there is very high protection. Studies from Mumbai, London, New York are all saying both doses will save us," he was quoted as saying by his office in a release.

Noting that according to experts children could be the worst affected in the third wave and calling it a matter of great concern, the KPCC chief said, "We don''t want the third wave. We can shoo away the third wave. All we have to do is to vaccinate 80 per cent of the population before the third wave begins."

"...on behalf of the people of Karnataka, I plead to the government to vaccinate 80 per cent in 3 months with both doses. I hope they accept my challenge," he added.

Shivakumar will also present a memorandum to the Governor in this regard.

Stating that if the government fails to vaccinate 80 per cent of adults before September-end, it will be responsible for the third wave, he said, the target is not an impossible one, it is totally possible.

"Now that we have stopped donating vaccines to other countries, we should be able to vaccinate our people really fast. The central government is also supposed to be providing 75 per cent vaccines free to the state. If BJP leaders don''t obsess over doing their own small scams with private vaccination, we can easily achieve it," he added.

The Congress leader further noted 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.

"We are doing our bit in persuading people to get vaccinated and we will do more. The problem is not one of demand but supply, " he said, accusing the BJP of spreading the vaccine hesitancy so that it doesnt have to answer questions about the lack of vaccines.

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