Health hubs gear up for 12-hour jabs test

Updated on Mar 21, 2021 06:34 AM IST

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday had announced that Delhi will increase the number of shots given daily from the exiting 30 to 40 thousand to 125,000.

A health worker prepares a dose of vaccine during a vaccination drive, at Kukreja Hospital, Bali Nagar, in New Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna / Hindustan Times)
A health worker prepares a dose of vaccine during a vaccination drive, at Kukreja Hospital, Bali Nagar, in New Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna / Hindustan Times)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

As the Delhi government gets ready to increase the number of centres and the timings of the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive from Monday onwards, hospitals and district officials are scampering to ration space and staff, creating linkages between dispensaries and nearby hospitals, and mapping ambulance presence.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday had announced that Delhi will increase the number of shots given daily from the exiting 30 to 40 thousand to 125,000.

On Saturday, 46,769 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered in the city, which is the highest so far since the drive began in mid-January. So far, nearly 287,000 people over the age of 60 have been administered their first dose and 47,410 people over the age of 45 with comorbidities, as per data shared by the government.

Staff and infrastructure

All the Delhi government hospitals have been asked to open at least six vaccination sites from Monday onwards. At the biggest Delhi government-run Lok Nayak hospital, there were already five sites running on the first floor of the out-patient block. Another site will likely be added on the same floor.

The hospital is currently looking at staff requirement for the two-shifts needed to run the centres from 9am to 9pm. “We are currently looking at allotting staff for the extended number of centres and extended timings. The district officials have also assured us that they will divert some staff for the same,” said a senior doctor from the hospital.

At Guru Teg Bahadur hospital, which is the biggest hospital in the trans-Yamuna region, there is a shortage of staff. The hospital has been grappling with a staff crunch ever since other non-Covid services resumed . Officials said the hospital hardly has staff to spare for the new centres. There are three vaccination centres at the hospital at the moment.

“All our staff is already engaged in non-Covid work; we have asked the district to provide more vaccinators but have been told that they cannot spare any,” said a doctor from the hospital.

Vaccination at dispensaries

Sparing vaccinators from districts might also be difficult, with all 260 Delhi-government-run dispensaries scheduled to open up vaccination centres from Monday onwards. Currently, there are about 40 dispensaries that give the Covid-19 shot.

The district officials are assessing the space available at the centres for carrying out the vaccination drive.

Over the weekend, the districts will also map out the closest hospitals and ambulance presence in case of an adverse event following immunisation. “We are looking at which hospitals are the nearest to every dispensary so that a patient can be taken there if there is an adverse event. Plus, we are also looking at where the nearest ambulance is stationed. There are ambulances available with the SDMs that can be utilised. We will also share an advance list with CATS to check where their nearest ambulance will be stationed,” said a second district official.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Anonna Dutt is a health reporter at Hindustan Times. She reports on Delhi government’s health policies, hospitals in Delhi, and health-related feature stories.

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