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Monday, April 12, 2021

Amid heavy turnout at Covid vaccination centres in Delhi, some hospitals wait for extra doses

In order to expand the vaccination drive, the Delhi government on Monday decided that one-third of the vaccination centres in Delhi government hospitals will run round the clock.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi |
April 8, 2021 10:38:12 am
COVID-19 vaccination centre at Darya Ganj, in New Delhi. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

After a relatively slow start, Covid-19 vaccination sites in New Delhi are seeing nearly 100 per cent turnout, with a number of people registering for the shot on the spot. Under the ongoing vaccination drive in the city, over 13 lakh people have been given at least one dose of the Covid vaccine till Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the city vaccinated 41,412 beneficiaries till 6 pm, of which 33,867 people received their first dose of the vaccine. Of the total number, 10,119 were those over the age of 60; 22,951 were between 45 years and 59 years; 468 were healthcare and 329 were frontline workers. The dip in the vaccination numbers was attributed to the lesser number of sessions as dispensary-based sites were not functional on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the city had vaccinated 84,213 beneficiaries till 10 pm. And 25 per cent of the shots were administered in private hospitals, while 75 per cent were in government hospitals.

“As the immunisation programme is opened for all above 45 years of age, the turnout at the vaccine centres has improved tremendously. For over two days in a row, we have been able to vaccinate 100 pe rcent beneficiaries who are visiting the session sites. The vaccine is available to full capacity at the moment and we are facing no shortage,” said a senior district official from the north district.

“We have asked all the teams to vaccinate every person visiting the vaccination centre. The district has vaccinated over 10,000 beneficiaries on Monday and Tuesday. As of now, there is no scarcity of the vaccine at our centres,” said a senior district official from the north-west district.

In order to expand the vaccination drive, the Delhi government on Monday decided that one-third of the vaccination centres in Delhi government hospitals will run round the clock. While most of the hospitals are able to meet the vaccine demand, a few are waiting to receive extra dosages.

For instance, the Delhi government-run Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital (RGSSH) has not been able to vaccinate more than 200 beneficiaries in a day due to unavailability of the vaccine. The hospital administration has already flagged the issue to the district officials and is hopeful that the number of doses will increase in the coming days.

“We are getting 200 doses in a day and most of it is utilised by the afternoon as there is a rise in the walk-ins for the vaccination drive. We have the infrastructure and manpower to run six vaccination centres as suggested by the government, but since the vaccines are not available, we are not able to entertain more people,” said Dr BL Sherwal, medical superintendent of RGSSH.

With a surge in the number of walk-ins at the vaccination centres, a senior district official from the south-west district said: “The utilisation of the vaccine is almost 90-95 per cent in our district. Due to the sudden increase in the vaccination numbers, we have the vaccine stock available for around three-four days. We have informed the centre and other authorities about the availability .”

The third phase of the mass immunisation drive kicked off on April 1, with the Centre allowing States to vaccinate all people above the age of 45 years of age. The Delhi government has requested the Centre to open the vaccination for all those above 18.

“We believe that the vaccine should be first made available to India and later exported to other countries. People above 45 years might need it mostly and but the new trend shows that people between ages 20-45 years are getting infected. It is fast spreading amongst those people as they are more mobile. It seems that they are not heavily affected but the chances of the virus spreading increases when they go home, as their parents and other family members are exposed to risk. Therefore we said that vaccination should be rolled out to everyone barring age, as soon as possible,” said Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday.


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