UP to give jabs to 18+ in seven districts first
Uttar Pradesh will begin the Covid-19 vaccination drive for people above 18 years of age in only seven of the state’s 75 districts on Saturday. These seven districts have been chosen as they have a high active caseload. The other districts will be covered later. The state authorities hope to get a supply of 10,000 vaccine doses by Saturday morning.
“The seven districts where the vaccination drive will be launched for the beneficiaries above 18 years include Lucknow, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Meerut, Gorakhpur, Bareilly, and Varanasi. Here, the active cases are high. Hence, we begin from these districts and more districts will get the benefit later,” said additional chief secretary (health and family welfare) Amit Mohan Prasad on Friday.
“We have taken up those districts where the active cases are over 9,000. There are seven such districts,” said Prasad.
In Lucknow, a stock of 3,000 doses of the Covid vaccine has already been kept in cold chain points to be distributed at 10 vaccination centres in the city. These centres have been identified for the vaccination of people above 18 years of age. The stock will be given to the vaccination centres at around 8am, said chief medical officer (Lucknow) Dr Sanjay Bhatnagar.
The 10 vaccination centres in Lucknow for the new phase are: King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS), Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), Lok Bandhu Raj Narain Hospital, Rani Laxmibai Hospital, Civil Hospital, Jhalkaribai Hospital, Awantibai Hospital, Balrampur Hospital and BRD hospital. Each centre will get 300 doses.
In Varanasi, chief medical officer Dr VB Singh said a vehicle had been sent to Lucknow for bringing the vaccine doses to Varanasi. The doses were likely to arrive early on Saturday morning.
Prayagraj’s district nodal officer for Covid-19 vaccination Dr RS Thakur said 3,000 doses of Covaxin had been received by Prayagraj for vaccination of individuals aged above 18 years. The vaccination will take place from 11am to 5pm at four rural primary health centres in Chaka, Jasra, Kotwa and Jhunsi areas, besides MLN Medical College, Dufferin Hospital, MD Eye Hospital, Railway Hospital and TB Sapru Hospital in the urban areas of Prayagraj.
Dr Thakur said the vaccines would be administered to only those individuals who had got themselves registered in advance.
A health department officer who did not wish to be named said in view of the uncertainty over the supply of vaccine doses, the state government had decided to run the third phase on a trial basis in the seven districts. The state government hopes that it will get the required doses in the first week of May to launch the drive in the remaining districts.
Director general (family welfare) Dr Rakesh Dubey said the private hospitals and medical colleges will have to procure vaccines from the manufacturers to give doses to beneficiaries above 45 years of age and also to those between 18 and 44 years of the age (for the phase commencing on May 1).
For earlier phases, the private hospitals and medical colleges had procured the vaccine doses from the state government. The private centres were charging ₹250 per dose from the beneficiaries.
To get Covid-19 vaccines for the third phase, the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday decided to float global tenders to procure four to five crore doses of Covid vaccines.
The state government has already placed an order for the supply of one crore Covid vaccine doses —50 lakh doses each from Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited that manufactures Covaxin and the Pune- based Serum Institute of India (SII) that makes Covishield.