Turnout for second phase of vaccination remains high on Day 2
Turnout for the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive remained high on Tuesday, with at least 1,471 people above the age of 60 years and 170 between 45 and 59 years having co-morbidities taking the jab at 23 vaccination centres across the city.
The footfall increased by almost 48% compared to Monday’s count of 852, as many people directly reached private hospitals and waited in lines for long hours to take the vaccine shot.
“The turnout will continue to increase as we have seen no hesitancy among people to take the shot. There have been some technical hiccups but they are getting resolved to fix the registration process. Considering the heavy footfall at some big private hospitals, vaccination has exceeded 100 a day. In the next few days, the number of vaccination sites will be increased to make the process easier,” said Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer.
With the launch of vaccination for the prioritised population on March 1, the elderly population of the city has come forward in large numbers to take the vaccine shot, especially at private hospitals. On Tuesday, the health department had allocated 1,200 vaccine doses for senior citizens and people aged 45-59 years having co-morbidities. As only 250 of 1,500 targeted healthcare workers and front-line workers turned up to take their shots, the additional doses were used for the general public.
However, the pace of the vaccination remained slow during the early hours.
Even as residents queued up from 11am at private hospitals to take the vaccine shot, many faced delays as the Co-Win platform remained slow for over an hour during the first half of the day. In a few hospitals, the walk-in process remained chaotic.
At a private hospital in Sector 24, the elderly complained that there was no one to guide them through the walk-in registration process.
“We were told to come on Tuesday. Today, we have waited for almost two hours but there is no clarity when the process will begin. There is no clarity on how to get the vaccine,” said 75-year-old Reema Bhadwani, who left the vaccination centre after the staff refused to issue registration forms.
Aditya Arya, another resident, who is also the founder of the city’s Camera Museum, complained of a similar issue at the hospital.
A hospital staff present at the site, requesting anonymity, said, “Since the Co-Win platform was not operational for a few hours, people could not be vaccinated. Many people have reached the spot but we can only cater to people based on the allocated vaccine doses. Until the portal gets operational, even the vaccination fee cannot be charged.”
To avoid delays caused by issues with the Co-Win platform, officials at Artemis Hospital asked the visitors to register themselves with the hospital’s mobile application. “People who have approached us through helpline numbers were told to register on the Artemis PHR mobile application. After the registration, they receive a message confirming the walk-in. Thereafter, at the spot, they are verified on the Co-Win and are vaccinated. The process helps in creating the payment log,” said Reena Tiwari, head administrator, Artemis Hospital.
Tiwari said that those who have been walking in without appointments are also being catered to.
Indu Mittal, a resident of Sector 45, who reached the hospital at 1pm, could not get vaccinated till 3.30pm. “For almost an hour, no vaccination took place. We were told the vaccine stock got over. The process has started now, but it has been very slow.”
At a few government session sites, people returned after long waits. At the Nathupur urban primary health centre (UPHC), almost 15 people left after waiting till 1.30pm. “Once the portal gets functional, we will contact people and ask them to come,” said a staffer at the UPHC.
The process remained slow at the Wazirabad UPHC too, with only two people being vaccinated till noon.
In addition to the vaccine cost of ₹250, a few private hospitals have been charging fees for preparing the medical certificate required by people aged 45 to 59 having co-morbidities. “People have to show their previous prescriptions and case history before we sign the medical certificate at the spot. It is required as the certificate helps in addressing the hitch among people who have some sort of illness. They need to be under medical supervision before taking the shot,” said Dr Ashish Kalla, general physician, Kalyani Hospital.
The hospital charges ₹400 for the additional service being provided by them, according to Kusum Narang, the marketing manager of the hospital. “Once signed, the certificate is uploaded just like any verification ID used in registration,” said Narang.