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51 lakh people to get coronavirus vaccine in first phase, says Kejriwal

Addressing a webcast on the rollout of the vaccine, expected early next year, in the national capital, Kejriwal said the administration has identified nearly all the 51 lakh citizens under the “priority category” for vaccination.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: December 25, 2020 1:35:39 am
51 lakh people to get vaccine in first phase, says KejriwalKejriwal said Delhi has about 3 lakh healthcare workers, 6 lakh frontline workers, and about 42 lakh people who are aged above 50 years or have co-morbidities. “We have identified nearly all of them and the identification work will be wrapped up in a week,” he said.

Fifty-one lakh people in Delhi — comprising healthcare staff, frontline workers, people with co-morbidities and those aged above 50 years — will be administered Covid-19 vaccine in the first phase, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday.

Addressing a webcast on the rollout of the vaccine, expected early next year, in the national capital, Kejriwal said the administration has identified nearly all the 51 lakh citizens under the “priority category” for vaccination.

The Delhi government’s plan is in line with the recommendations made by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 (NEGVAC).

Kejriwal said Delhi has made the necessary arrangements to receive and store the vaccine doses in two separate facilities: an existing cold storage facility, and the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, where an area of about 5,000 square metres is being used as a storage centre.

He said 1.2 crore doses are needed to cover priority categories in the first phase.

Kejriwal said Delhi has about 3 lakh healthcare workers, 6 lakh frontline workers, and about 42 lakh people who are aged above 50 years or have co-morbidities. “We have identified nearly all of them and the identification work will be wrapped up in a week,” he said.

Those identified will be contacted via SMS. “The government will inform them about the time and venue of vaccination,” he said.

Over the last few weeks, teams comprising ASHA workers, teachers and civil defence volunteers have been carrying out door-to-door surveys, collecting the names and contact details of those aged above 50 and persons with co-morbidities.

“Right now, Delhi has the capacity to store 74 lakh vaccine doses and this is being augmented. In the next five to seven days, the city will be able to store 1.5 lakh doses,” said Kejriwal.

The government has also made a separate plan to ensure medical help in the event of the vaccine triggering any adverse reaction.

Three vaccine candidates — Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, Serum Institute-Oxford’s Covishield and the Pfizer’s m-RNA vaccine — are in the fray for emergency use authorisation.

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