In an order issued August 1, the Delhi government’s Directorate of Family Welfare has said that “government CVCs (Covid vaccination centres) are hereby instructed to restart administration of Covishield first dose in a ratio of 20:80 (first dose: second dose)”. It further adds that “first dose proportion of Covaxin may be increased from 20% to 40% of the total slots being created”.
Citing vaccine shortage, the Delhi government had on July 22 ordered that all Covishield slots at government centres be reserved for second doses till July 31. For Covaxin, it had ordered that only 20% doses be used for the first shot and the rest reserved for the second.
For the month of July, Delhi had incidentally received more vaccines from the Centre than what was promised and allocated to it. It had been promised 15,19,590 doses in July and received 21,88,100 doses — 3,67,000 Covaxin and 18,21,100 Covishield.
On Saturday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that 74 lakh people have been administered at least one vaccine dose in Delhi so far, which, he said, amounts to about half of Delhi’s adult population.
He had said that the pace of distribution of vaccines from the Centre means that Delhi has not been able to scale up its vaccine administration programme. Now, the focus of the Delhi government is to ensure that those who have received the first dose and are due for the second shot receive it on time.
As of Sunday afternoon, 1.01 crore vaccine doses had been administered in the city. Of these 74,31,842 are first doses, and about one-fourth are second doses at 26,70,949.
With the government’s push for second dose administration, the number of these doses administered in the city began to outnumber first doses for the first time since the Centre took over the vaccination programme for the 18-44 category on July 21.
On that day, 29,966 first doses had been administered and 33,446 second doses. This difference has now grown to 20,179 first doses and 62,870 second doses on July 31.
In months of April and May, around 31 lakh first doses had been administered in the city, and most of them will be eligible for the second dose in May. Currently, the city is vaccinating between 55,000 and 70,000 people per day.