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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Private facilities spread unevenly, getting Covid shot in Delhi also depends on where you live

As govt ran out of vaccines for 18-44 group, many districts with inadequate private health infrastructure fell off the radar

Written by Sukrita Baruah | New Delhi |
Updated: June 15, 2021 8:45:45 am
Delhi news, Delhi covid vaccination, Covid vaccination Delhi, delhi vaccine, delhi vaccine news, delhi vaccine update, delhi vaccine 18+, delhi vaccine stock, delhi vaccine private hospitals, delhi city news, delhi local news, delhi city Beneficiaries wait to be administered Covid-19 vaccine during a drive. (Express photo: Abhinav Saha)

The uneven distribution of private healthcare facilities across Delhi shows that every time government vaccination centres have been closed after running out of vaccines, administration of Covid shots to those in the 18-44 age bracket has largely been concentrated in a handful of districts.

Between May 24 and June 9, vaccines for this category had been unavailable in government centres across the city and were only available in those run by private hospitals. As a result, vaccine administration for young people took a hit.

However, in the South, South East, South West, and Central districts, the number of vaccines administered to young people remained consistently well above those administered to those above 45 even during this period – most so in the South district.

For instance, on May 29, a total of 25,444 vaccine doses were administered to those in the 18-44 group across Delhi. South, South East, and South West districts accounted for two-thirds of these, with 17,021 vaccines administered.

On that day, 6,464, 5,978 and 4,579 shots were administered in the South, South East and South West districts respectively.

The same day, just 134 doses were administered to this age bracket in Shahdara, 139 in West Delhi, 336 in North East Delhi, and 348 in West Delhi.

South Delhi is also the only district where more vaccines have so far been administered to the 18-44 category than to those above 45. “This would largely be because we have a lot of private hospitals in our district. Sites set up by Max Hospitals and Madhukar Hospital, for instance, have administered a large number of vaccines in this category. RWAs have also come forward and whenever somebody would approach us, we were proactively giving permission to set up sites,” said South Delhi district magistrate Ankita Chakravarti.

Because of the availability of private vaccine centres in districts like South and South East, people from other districts who can afford to pay for the shot and have the means to travel have also been getting their shots there. “There’s no way to tell from Cowin, but we know that even people from Ghaziabad and Gurgaon have been coming to get vaccinated,” said DM Chakravarti.

As opposed to this, in North East Delhi, only four private centres have been set up since the start of the vaccination drive. Of these, only Panchsheel Hospital in Yamuna Vihar is a large centre where more than 5,000 people have been vaccinated across all categories so far. West Delhi has had 45 private vaccination centres.

On June 10, vaccination for the 18-44 category opened up once again in government vaccination centres after the Delhi government received around 1.5 lakh doses of vaccines. Following that, 10,337 vaccines were administered in North West; 8,646 in South West; 7,677 in West; and 5,003 in South on June 10 itself.

However, South Delhi continues to administer the most doses in this category, with the number shooting up to 13,705 on June 11 and 14,090 on June 12.

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