Booking a vaccination slot a Herculean task for 18+ in Himachal

Even those with high-speed internet and fastest fingers are at their wits’ end as there is no guarantee that they will get a spot;
 (Image for representational purpose)
(Image for representational purpose)
Published on May 24, 2021 01:22 AM IST
Copy Link
By, Dharamshala

If you are in the age group of 18-44 years and waiting to get vaccinated in Himachal, get ready for a long haul. Booking a vaccination slot in the state is no less than hitting a jackpot.

Even those with high-speed internet and fastest fingers are at their wits’ end as there is no guarantee that they will get a spot. Slots open for a fraction of second, one blink and they are gone.

“I was on two devices with high-speed internet, but still didn’t get a slot,” said Varun Chaudhary, who lives in Shimla.

“The CoWIN portal always displayed slot booked on the vaccination centre in and around Shimla from 2pm to 3.30pm. The official time of slot opening was 2.30pm but it showed no vacancy,” he complained.

“It seems like a big scam. The slots are already booked before they are uploaded on the portal,” he alleged.

Due to shortage of vaccine, the state government has fixed two days, Monday and Thursday, in a week for vaccination of people in the 18-44 age group. Vaccination began on May 17 and till date, 40,353 people have been given the jab while the estimated population in this range is more than 31 lakh.

To start with, the state government had received more than 1.7 lakh doses for the vaccination of the people in this age group.

The slots are updated on the website two days before the vaccination schedule.

Abhay Karki, a youth from Dharamshala, said he and his brother were trying to book a slot on two separate computers.

“It opened for a while and till we submitted the details, all the slots were taken. This has happened not once but twice. If there was shortage of vaccines, the government should have started the drive later instead of creating a chaos,” he said.

This is not the only problem with the process. In rural belts, people have limited access to the internet and those living in urban areas have been hogging the vaccination slots.

Vinod Kumar, a resident of a rural area in Kangra district, said many people from the other states got jabbed at the vaccination centre near his village.

He said village people were not tech-savvy and till they filled the form, all slots were booked.

There were also reports of some tourists getting jabbed at vaccination centres in Lahaul and Spiti while a Haryana man was seen getting the shot at Dharamshala vaccination centre. Another member of his family had booked a vaccination slot near Nurpur.

Prajwal Busta, a Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader, said if anyone from other state worked here or lived here for long, he/she should definitely get the vaccine.

“But, if tourists are hogging the slots, then it’s wrong. If they can travel this far for getting jabbed, then they can also pay for the vaccine. Bona fide address proof should be made mandatory for booking slots,” she added.

She said the state government had done a good job in vaccinating its people, but some of them were taking advantage of “flaws in the system”.

Matter taken up with Centre

Meanwhile, Dr Nipun Jindal, director of National Health Mission (NHM), said problems being faced by people were in notice of authorities.

“We have taken up the matter with the Union health ministry and also written to them seeking a solution,” he said.

“We have asked the Centre to allow us book certain percentage of slots offline like it is being done in Lahaul and Spiti where 80% slots are not being booked on web,” he added.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Naresh K Thakur is a staff reporter in Hindustan Times’ Himachal bureau. Based at Dharamshala, he covers Tibetan affairs, local politics and environmental issues.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The language felt cold, even brutal. I was to be relieved from the services of the company after attaining the age of superannuation, the circular said. It seemed like a double whammy, a combination of a pink slip for age-related reasons. (Representative image)

    Spice of Life | Rest assured, retirement is an opportunity, not a calamity

    After 39 years of service, I was to retire. The language felt cold, even brutal. The speeches at the felicitation had begun in right earnest. I abruptly realised it was my departure that the speaker was referring to. I would stop being important at home as well. An increase in life expectancy has changed the concept of retirement, now half your work life is still left, leaving you a time management problem.

  • Lawrence Bishnoi, who has been identified as the main conspirator in singer Sidhu Moose Wala’s murder, was brought to Punjab on June 15 on transit remand from Delhi. (ANI)

    Amritsar police get five more days to grill Lawrence Bishnoi in Kandowalia murder case

    An Amritsar court on Wednesday extended gangster Lawrence Bishnoi's police remand by five days, after the local police requested more time to interrogate him for the murder of gangster Ranbir Singh, alias Rana Kandowalia. Bishnoi, who has been identified as the main conspirator in singer Sidhu Moose Wala's murder, was brought to Punjab on June 15 on transit remand from Delhi, where he was lodged in the Tihar jail.

  • Punjabi actor Rana Jung Bahadur was arrested after a Jalandhar court rejected his anticipatory bail plea. (Source: Facebook)

    Punjabi actor arrested for hurting religious sentiments

    Punjabi film actor Rana Jung Bahadur was arrested on Wednesday, a day after a Jalandhar court rejected his anticipatory bail plea, for allegedly making “objectionable” remarks about Lord Balmiki during a TV show. The remarks had triggered protests in Jalandhar, with members of the Balmiki community also calling for a Bandh on July 11 in case the police fail to arrest the actor.

  • GRP arrest gang of four women tricking train passengers and robbing them

    GRP arrest gang of four women tricking train passengers and robbing them

    Mumbai: Four women in their 20s, part of a notorious gang robbing long-distance railway passengers of their belongings, were arrested by the government railway police crime branch on Wednesday. The modus operandi of these women was to pretend that they were travelling alone and in need of help. Police officials said the women from Aurangabad would periodically visit Mumbai and board long-distance trains from Dadar or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.

  • On Tuesday, the SIT was disbanded, stating that the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had already registered an offence in connection with the allegations in May (PTI)

    SIT set up to probe Sanjay Raut’s allegations against ED officials disbanded

    Mumbai It has been a week since the regime changed in Maharashtra and the Mumbai police have already decided to disband the Special Investigation Team formed to investigate Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's allegations that certain Enforcement Directorate officials collected money from city builders through a South Mumbai businessman.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, July 06, 2022