Senior citizens, those with comorbidities get first shot

COVID-19 vaccination for people aged 60 and above and those in the 45-59 age bracket with comorbidities started in Delhi from Monday.

A total of 15,521 beneficiaries took the COVID-19 vaccination in the city on Monday and there was only one Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI), said a Delhi government spokesperson.

Of the total beneficiaries, 5,176 were people who are 60 years of age and above, 1,009 between 45 and 59 years of age, and the rest were healthcare workers and front-line workers.

While many senior citizens told The Hindu that the process was “smooth”, some complained that they had to wait for more than “four hours” and that there was no separate counter for senior citizens. Multiple hospitals said that they faced technical issues with the CoWIN software and that led to delays.

Beneficiaries have the option to pre-register via CoWin 2.0 or Aarogya Setu app, or walk in at any of the registered vaccination sites, register and get vaccinated.

Those with comorbidities have to get a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner, detailing their condition before registering.

Want to travel

Recalling how they lived in fear for the past one year, many beneficiaries said that they want to travel to meet their family members once they complete both the dozes of the vaccine.

Some also said that the government should have started vaccination for senior citizens earlier and added that a lot of time had been “wasted”. Some people even changed hospitals after registration to avoid getting Covaxin vaccine.

Health Minister Satyendar Jain said that 308 centres were set up at 192 hospitals for vaccination. “There are 12-15 lakh people belonging to the age group of 60 and 2-3 lakh are from the age group of 45-59 with co-morbid conditions,” he said.

Both pre-registration and walk-in registration facilities were available at most centres. While the 136 private vaccination centres will be allowed to charge up to ₹250 per person per dose, it is free at the 56 government hospitals.

“Vaccination for general public started around 11 a.m. While people who had registered for vaccination online had come, walk-in registration without any prior booking was also available. A total of 80 people took the vaccine today,” said Chhavi Gupta, spokesperson of Delhi government-run Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital.

Also, 35 healthcare workers were administered the second dose of the vaccine at the hospital on Monday. At other hospitals vaccination was conducted for general public, healthcare workers, and front-line workers.

“There were some glitches in the system in the morning,” an official at Lok Nayak Hospital said. The hospital did not officially share the number of beneficiaries, but it was less than 20, as per hospital sources.

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