Did Bengaluru Urban Really Achieve 100% First Dose Coverage?
Officials say number of doses administered equals eligible population, but all were not only given to residents of Bengaluru Urban
Karnataka's Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education Dr Sudhakar K, on August 30, 2021, claimed that Bengaluru Urban (excluding Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike or BBMP area) had become the first district in Karnataka to achieve 100% COVID-19 1st dose vaccination.
"Bengaluru Urban (excluding BBMP) becomes the first district in Karnataka to achieve 100% 1st dose vaccination! Congrats to all those who made this possible," he tweeted.
This claim was found to be misleading for two reasons: Firstly, the district was administering first COVID-19 dose even after the minister made this claim. More than 20,000 first doses were administered in the district between August 31 and September 3, 2021.
Secondly, were vaccine centres in the district only giving doses to people residing in the district? Health officials told FactChecker that wasn't the case.
Dr Syed Sirajuddin Madni, Reproductive & Child Health Officer, Bengaluru Urban, who told FactChecker that the district's adult population is 10.62 lakh and they had crossed this number on August 30. "The eligible adult population to get vaccination in Bengaluru Urban [excluding BBMP] is 10.62 lakh. The total population of the district is 15.2 lakh. We crossed the target of 10.62 lakh on August 30," said Dr Madni.
However, when asked if this includes people from other areas in Bengaluru, like the BBMP area, coming in and receiving doses in Bengaluru Urban area before August 30, Dr Madni replied, "Yes, people from Bengaluru Urban go to BBMP area to get jabbed and vice versa too." This means that people from BBMP are also included in the Bengaluru Urban vaccination figures.
On August 30, 2021, Bengaluru Urban had administered 10.65 lakh first COVID-19 vaccine doses, showed data from CoWIN portal.
Although BBMP falls under Bengaluru District as per the Projected Population of Karnataka (2012-2021) which is issued by the state's Directorate of Economics and Statistics (DES), it is classified as two different districts in the Cowin Portal. As Dr Madni said, other than BBMP area, the population of Bengaluru Urban is 15.2 lakh, but the population of the whole district (including BBMP are) is 96.2 lakh according to its official website. This means BBMP area constitutes nearly 84% of Bengaluru Urban's population.
FactChecker also spoke to Dr Srinivas GA, District Health Officer (DHO) of Bengaluru Urban, to understand the reason behind the continuation of the vaccination process. "There are many factories near the border areas. Workers from there book their slots in Bengaluru Urban. So now we are vaccinating them as well," said Dr Srinivas.
FactChecker called up Dr Sudhakar for a clarification, but he refused to be quoted.