UP launches Covid vaccine drive for elderly: 22.5K to get jab today
About 22,500 elderly people in Uttar Pradesh will get the Covid vaccine shot today, including 900 in the state capital, Lucknow, as the health department launches the drive for the elderly.
“On Monday, the doses will be provided at 225 centres across 75 districts, where people who would be 60 years of age by January 2022, can get the jab,” said state immunisation officer Dr Ajai Ghai.
Some beneficiaries were informed via hospitals and some old age homes had also been told about the vaccination, said Yogesh Raghuvanshi, spokesperson, office of the chief medical officer, Lucknow. Self-registration will also start from Monday.
“This is a soft launch of Covid vaccination for the elderly, hence centres will be increased from March 4,” said Lucknow vaccination in-charge Dr MK Singh.
Apart from the government hospitals, approximately 1,544 private hospitals in the state will also facilitate inoculation from March 4, with some of them beginning today itself. The approximate population of 50-plus people in the state is 35 million of which, approximately 17.5 million are those above 60 years of age.
Self-registration of people above 60 years and those in 45-60 years of age with comorbidities is also expected to open today and this round of vaccination will run via on-the-spot registration, on a first-come-first-serve basis.
On CoWin app, the beneficiary needs to enter name, age and other details and upload an identity document. If the beneficiary is 45-plus but below 60 years of age, they have to submit a doctor’s certificate as comorbidity proof. They can also choose a vaccination centre.
In the state capital, Covid vaccination will be done in 137 private hospitals on payment basis, while government hospitals will continue to provide free of cost inoculation.
“With 137 private and 33 government hospitals identified for vaccination, the total number of vaccination centres in Lucknow will be 170,” said Dr MK Singh, in charge, vaccination in Lucknow.
When one self-registers on CoWin app, they will see the list of hospitals in their district empanelled under the central scheme. In Lucknow, currently there are vaccination centres at three government hospitals and a private one. These are: King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences and Civil Hospital. Shekhar Hospital is the private hospital with a vaccination centre. Meanwhile, KGMU has four vaccination booths, RMLIMS three, and Civil Hospital one.
“At private hospitals, the beneficiary will pay Rs250 for each dose; ₹150 is for the vaccine which the hospital will pay to the government prior to getting vaccine dose, and ₹100 is hospital charge for vaccination,” said Dr Singh.
Experts said vaccination among the elderly requires caution. “The elderly are vulnerable, hence their vaccination needs additional care, particularly during the observation time post the jab to observe and help them in case of any adverse reaction,” said Dr Abhishek Shukla, secretary general, Association of International Doctors.
Doctors said a change could also be made in the vaccination process. “The observation time of 30 minutes can be extended for the elderly,” said Dr Kauser Usman, HoD, geriatric medicine at KGMU.
Dr Usman said, “An extended observation time can be optional for those who want to stay longer after vaccination so that when they leave only when they are confident.”
An online meeting for private hospitals was conducted by the Union health ministry on Sunday with private hospitals which have been identified as vaccination centres. “After the first dose, the second dose for the elderly will be administered after a gap of 29 to 42 days,” said Dr Abhishek Shukla, one of the participants.