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Friday, July 30, 2021

Gujarat: Walk-in facility ‘a breather’, 4.97 lakh doses administered

Many who turned up attested that after several unsuccessful attempts in booking a slot online through the CoWIN application, the walk-in facility was “a much needed breather”.

Written by Aditi Raja , Kamaal Saiyed, Sohini Ghosh , Gopal B Kateshiya | Ahmedabad/rajkot/surat/vadodara |
June 22, 2021 1:29:34 am
Gujarat on Monday reported 151 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths.

On the first day of walk-in registrations for vaccination in the 18-44 years’ group in Gujarat, over 4.97 lakh doses were administered across the state on Monday. Many who turned up attested that after several unsuccessful attempts in booking a slot online through the CoWIN application, the walk-in facility was “a much needed breather”. Meanwhile, session site officials said there was a marginal increase in footfall, compared to other days.

Gujarat on Monday reported 151 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths.

Mayur Vala (29), an imitation jewellery maker, and his wife Shilpa came to the Arvindbhai Maniar School on Kothariya Road in Rajkot for their first doses of Covishield.

“I do have a smart phone but didn’t know how to register to get the vaccine,” said Mayur.

Virbhadra Jadeja (23), an undergraduate commerce student, and his mother Kailash (43) took their first doses. “My father told us that we should get ourselves vaccinated as the requirement of prior registration has been done away with,” said Jadeja.

“Though no one from seven members of my family has contracted the virus so far, it is important to get vaccinated,” said Kailash.

Within an hour of the walk-in vaccination opening, 111 from 18 to 44 years and around 100 in the age group of 45-plus were administered Covid vaccine doses at this centre. “Usually, we vaccinate around 70 people in the morning session. But today, around 100 people turned up. There isn’t much change in the number of people queuing up in the age group of 45-plus,” Amit Shishangiya, a multi-purpose health worker (MPHW), who was distributing tokens at the vaccination centre, said.

At the Dariapur Gujarati Shala No 8 in Ahmedabad’s walled city where vaccine hesitancy has been high, 134 of the 300 doses that were allocated for the site were given. A MPHW said, “Usually since the past three to four days, we are seeing around 90-100 registrations (against the 200 allotted for the site), of which around 10 per cent would not turn up.” Of the 134 who turned up on Monday, “around 60-70 were those who had booked a slot online”. Kalupur UHC is managing vaccination at two sites — Dariapur Gujarati Shala number eight for 18-44 group and Kalupur municipal shala number 17 for those above 45 years.

Imtiyaz Hakim (40), a resident of Sarkhej, who has taken his shot, brought uncle Zahir Hakim (43), a Kalupur resident, to the Dariapur site on Monday.

Imtiyaz said, “I just took it thinking if not anything, it will work as an energy booster and will prevent my seasonal allergies. My wife is scared of needles and has not taken it. She says she will wait for a year and make up her mind. My uncle too is taking the vaccine today because he saw that I have taken and nothing has happened to me.”

Paresh (43), a tuition teacher from Mirzapur, after taking his shot complained to an MPHW at the site that he had not received a message confirming his dose. “Since the load (of beneficiaries’ details on the CoWIN software) is heavy today, we are seeing messages being delayed from the server side,” the health worker told this paper.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) administered 38,470 doses throughout the day, across all eligible groups.

In Surat, Mukesh Gujjar (25), a resident of Umarwada area in Surat city, working as a textile labourer in Surat Textile Market , had taken his first dose on Monday at a health centre of SMC in the Anjana area. “On Monday I came to know that we have to reach the vaccination centre and there they will register us and administer it…,” said Gujjar.

Girish Rana (24), a vegetable vendor from Mandarwaja area of Surat, did not have a smart phone and was hesitant to get registered. “I got myself vaccinated today after friends told me about on-the-spot registration and vaccination… I will take my parents to get vaccinated…,” said Rana.

In Vadodara city, 5,455 were vaccinated most by prior appointments. The spot registrations and walk-ins that began Monday did not see many takers, with most centres seeing people turning up for the second dose of Covaxin.

Swami Vivekanand school in Karelibaug area of Vadodara saw just one woman walk in an hour after walk-in vaccination opened to enquire about the second dose of Covaxin which the centre was not designated for.

At Manjalpur’s Little Flower School, several people turned up to seek a second dose of Covaxin during the walk-in period post 3 pm. But limited centres have been given stock of 100 Covaxin doses, of which 50 are reserved for recipients coming in by appointment. Although the Manjalpur centre had Covaxin slots, the doses had exhausted by 3 pm.

BJP MLA and Minister of State for Narmada and Urban Housing Yogesh Patel, who also visited a few vaccination centres, on Monday, said that he would communicate with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to make vaccinations mandatory for beneficiaries of free ration distribution.

VMC health officials said that organising private vaccination sites by trusts and institutions had meant that the footfall at VMC vaccination centres was low.

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