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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Delhi: Covaxin in June only to those due for 2nd shot

The decision will be applicable to recipients in the age group of 18-44, who became eligible for the vaccine on May 1.

Written by Mallica Joshi | New Delhi |
Updated: May 28, 2021 7:29:36 am
As part of the third phase of the Covid-19 vaccination strategy of the government, vaccine procurement was “liberalised” — allowing state governments to procure additional vaccine doses directly from manufacturers.

The 91,960 doses of Covaxin that the Delhi government is expected to get in June will only be used to give second shots to people who got their first shot in May.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told The Indian Express that the decision has been taken to make sure that recipients of Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine do not miss their second dose in the 4-6-week window.

The decision will be applicable to recipients in the age group of 18-44, who became eligible for the vaccine on May 1.

According to the central government’s vaccination protocol, the interval between the first and second doses of Covaxin should be at least four weeks, while for Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine, it should be at least 12 weeks.

“We have decided that the new Covaxin doses that we get in June will be for those who got the first shot when the drive for the 18-44 category started in the city in May. This is to ensure that they don’t miss their second shot, which they are supposed to take in 4-6 weeks,” Sisodia said.

Vaccination for 18-44-year-olds in the capital was opened on May 3. Those who got their first shot of Covaxin on the first day will complete four weeks on May 31, and will become eligible for the second dose.

The Centre has informed the Delhi government that a total 91,960 doses of Covaxin will be made available to it in the month of June. This is less than the 1.5 lakh doses of Covaxin that Delhi received for May.

“Only if we get more doses of Covaxin than the number that is required for people who have got the first dose, will we administer fresh first doses. I am hopeful of getting more,” Sisodia said.

Delhi will also start walk-in registrations for vaccination from next week. Officials said that the current system was leading to many people who were not able to book slots online, being left out of the vaccination drive.

“It is a poor system that keeps out people who are disadvantaged. Not everyone can, or knows how to, sit for hours with their phones or computers to get a slot. Many people, especially in the rural areas of the city, have not been vaccinated only because they don’t know how to book slots online,” a senior Delhi government official said.

Delhi was vaccinating 1 lakh people a day on average until it ran out of vaccines last week. Centres where those in the 18-44 category were being vaccinated are currently shut, as are the Covaxin centres for those in the 45+ category.

Only 34,000 people were vaccinated on Wednesday. Sisodia said that if Delhi got enough vaccines, a detailed plan was in place to vaccinate 5 lakh people per day.

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