At 2 centres, walk-in jabs lead to more vaccinations
On a day when glitches in the central government’s Co-WIN portal led to low turnouts at Covid-19 vaccination points in the national capital, centres that allowed walk-in shots to registered healthcare workers, circumventing the list drawn up by the portal, saw an uptake in the numbers.
At the central government-run Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, 69 people were given the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, a significant increase over the 31 immunised on Saturday, when the inoculation drive kicked off across the country.
Hospital officials said this bump in turnout was primarily due to the facility allowing people whose names were not drawn by the Co-WIN app to get the jabs on Monday.
“There was some issue with the Co-WIN portal, so we sought permission from the district officials to conduct the session offline. We allowed even those whose names were not drawn for today’s drive because almost 70 of the 100 people included in the list were those who had missed their shot on Saturday,” said Dr AK Singh Rana, medical superintendent of RML hospital.
To be sure, all the beneficiaries were already registered on the Co-WIN portal.
Nearly 30 million health workers, and frontline workers are to be vaccinated in the first phase of Covid-19 vaccinations.
Till Monday afternoon, the vaccination site at RML hospital saw only 11 of scheduled beneficiaries turn up for the shot.
“I called at least 50 of the beneficiaries personally and most of them did not even respond. These are the same people who skipped getting vaccinated on Saturday. If they do not want to take the vaccine at all, why would they come?” said a hospital staffer on duty at the centre.
Most who were vaccinated at RML on Monday were senior faculty members from the hospital itself, according to personnel at the hospital who asked not to be named.
Two interns from the hospital said they were aware they could walk-in and get the shot on Monday, but expressed concerns over lack of long-term data on the vaccines.
A security in-charge at the hospital, Pramod Kumar got the shot in the afternoon and said he felt fine after that.
“I have 81 guards who work under me, and I got the shot to motivate them. I feel absolutely fine; after the 30-minute observation, I continued with my daily routine. There is a fear in the minds of people because the vaccine is new, and I want to set an example that it is safe,” he said.
The turnout was also higher at the Lady Hardinge Medical College, where 76 people were immunised on Monday, as compared to just 26 people on Saturday.
“Many people who were already in the hospital just walked into the centre to get the shot,” said one of the personnel on duty at the vaccination site in the new building at Kalawati Saran Children’s hospital.
The 81 hospitals where the vaccination drive was rolled-out were due to start increasing the number of sites at their premises to finish administering the shots to their staff quickly. However, with low turnouts, the number of sites on Monday remained 81.
Both the hospitals had a higher turnout than the city’s average of just over 44% of the beneficiaries selected for the vaccination drive turn up to the various centres in the national capital.
Of the 8,136 beneficiaries targeted on Monday, 3,598 were vaccinated. Some of them had to be turned away due symptoms like fever and history of allergies.
On Monday, only eight people were administered the vaccine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where walk-in shots were not permitted, against 95 who got the jab on Saturday.
Similary at Lok Nayak hospital, where walk-ins were not allowed, only 12 people were immunised on Monday, down from 32 on Saturday.
“The list for Saturday’s drive was prepared after asking people on WhatsApp groups. However, Monday’s list consisted mostly of people who were on Saturday’s list. Most of these people were on leave or under quarantine and couldn’t come. There were a few people who just showed up but we couldn’t allow that,” said a staffer from the vaccination centre at the hospital.
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