NEW DELHI: The second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive began on Monday in the national capital as elderly people received their first shots of the vaccine, officials said.
In the first phase, starting January 16, over 3.6 lakh beneficiaries comprising healthcare workers and frontline workers, have been vaccinated in Delhi.
On Monday, the drive began to give jabs to persons aged 60 and above, and those in 45-59 age bracket with comorbidities.
“A total of 15 senior citizens have been given vaccine shots at our centre till late morning, many of them came supported with a walking stick. It is heartening to see elderly people getting vaccinated as they are a vulnerable population,” a senior official of the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality (RGSS) Hospital said.
The official said the drive was to start around 12 noon but many elderly people had started queuing up by 10:30 am only, so it was started a bit early than the scheduled time.
Nine persons also received their second shots till late morning, the official said.
Arun Kumar Gupta, 66, who retired as a manager of a PSU bank, said he waited for almost three hours to get the vaccine shot.
“A policeman came to us and took our registration numbers. We kept waiting for our turns. I received the vaccine around 11.45 am. I was never tested for COVID-19 and I am not scared of the vaccine,” Gupta said.
At Delhi government hospitals doctors and other medical staff were upbeat about the exercise, the first phase of which has covered healthcare and frontline workers.
Inder Pal, 68, a resident of Jagatpuri who retired from the education department of the Delhi government, claimed that he was the “first of the senior citizens” who received the vaccine at RGSSH.
“My son registered my name online. I came here today morning and showed them the registration paper. There was some technical issue with the portal. I received the vaccine around 11.15 am. I have not felt any side affects till now,” he said.
The second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive is slated to span 192 health facilities, including 136 private hospitals in the national capital on Monday, officials said on Sunday.
The vaccines will be administered free of cost at government hospitals and health centres, while up to Rs 250 per dose will be charged at private health facilities.
“The vaccination drive will begin from 12 noon on Monday.
People aged 60 years or more as on January 1, 2022, and those with comorbidities who are in the age group of 45-59 years as on January 1, 2022 are eligible for vaccination,” a senior government officer had said.
Delhi government’s Family Welfare directorate had also tweeted on Sunday, “Tomorrow Delhi will be entering the much-awaited phase of COVID vaccination for 60 plus population and those having comorbidities in the age group of 45-59 years at 192 Delhi Health Facilities out of which 136 are paid private facilities and 56 are free government facilities.”
Appointment for vaccination can be booked through the Co-WIN 2.0 portal.
A mobile number cannot be used for making more than four registrations, they had said.
People opting for vaccination at private hospitals will have to pay up to Rs 250 per dose, including Rs 100 service charge per dose, they said.
As per official estimates, there are around 43 lakh people in the specified priority category of 60 years or above and those within 45-59 years with comorbidities in Delhi.
People within the age group of 45-59 years with comorbidities are required to produce a comorbidity certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner.
A total of 20 comorbidities have been specified for the purpose of vaccination, the officials said.
People eligible for vaccination also have to carry their photo identity cards, including Aadhaar card and voter card.