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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Finding slots only bump in smooth vaccination drive at Delhi schools

Navneet Kumar, a district official, who was the vaccination supervisor, said, "Sometimes, there is a rush in the morning. We then open a few extra rooms on the second floor. This morning, we had to open three classrooms."

Written by Ashna Butani | New Delhi |
May 12, 2021 12:41:00 pm
Delhi vaccination centres, Delhi news, Delhi covid cases, Delhi schools vaccination centre, Indian expressAt a vaccination centre in the capital. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

While it can be frustrating and difficult to book a vaccine slot, people visiting schools in Delhi for the jab say they are happy with the arrangements. Staff deployed at these schools, especially those which share a border with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, say that at least 20 per cent of those coming to take shots are from outside Delhi.

At Government Boys Senior Secondary School, New Ashok Nagar, all classrooms on the ground floor have been converted into five vaccination sites — each comprising a vaccination room and an observation room. Over 50 staff members, including school staff, civil defence volunteers, medical staff and district authorities, have been appointed to carry out the vaccination drive.

Sanjay Nagar (40) from Patparganj got his first dose of Covishield at the school on Monday afternoon. He said that his brother booked an appointment for him and that the entire process of getting vaccinated and waiting in an observation room took him an hour.

However, 30-year-old Samarth Khandelwal said that he was unable to book an appointment and eventually got his first dose from Max Hospital, Patparganj. He said, “We have all been trying the app for days… my sister finally got a slot here. But, I got mine at Max Patparganj two days ago, for which I had to pay.” He said their father got his second dose at a private hospital too.

Most beneficiaries at the site said that the process of booking was a pain, but once they got their slot, it was smooth. Sanjay Kumar (43), from Gharoli Dairy Farm, said, “I’ve spent hours every night, trying to get a slot. Finally, I got four slots last night.”

Civil defence volunteers, posted outside the classrooms, kept asking beneficiaries to maintain distance. A few benches were set up on the playground in case people wanted to sit. Inside the vaccination room, desks and chairs were rearranged to make space for people to walk around, and the teacher’s table doubled up as the vaccination table. Meanwhile, teachers and school support staff verified beneficiary details at the sites.

Navneet Kumar, a district official, who was the vaccination supervisor, said, “Sometimes, there is a rush in the morning. We then open a few extra rooms on the second floor. This morning, we had to open three classrooms.”

Shah Navaz Zaidi, from the school’s IT department, verified beneficiary details and fed them onto the system. He said that most of the beneficiaries at the centre are from nearby areas, but many from Noida get vaccinated at the school too. He said, “around 80 per cent of the people are Delhi residents, the remaining come from other parts of NCR or UP. However, anybody can get vaccinated as long as they are registered.”

The school receives 750 doses of vaccines a day. The staff said that some do not turn up so they generally vaccinate around 650-700 people in a day.

Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Chattarpur, which has four sites, vaccinates over 500 people in a day. Renu, the principal, said that there were initial hiccups on the first day, after which the process evened out.

At Shaheed Captain Sanjeev Dahiya Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in Sector 9, Rohini, close to 700 people are vaccinated in a day. Jayanti Gupta, the vice-principal, said that there are 15 rooms occupied, and around 50 staff members, who are assigned various duties.

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