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Delhi scales up vaccination centres as those above 50 are next in line for Covid shot

Govt considers the 50+ category to be the 'biggest priority group' in the city, and the numbers are being included in the database on the basis of electoral roll figures. 

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New Delhi: The national capital will have more Covid-19 vaccination centres by the end of this week as it prepares to immunise those above 50 years of age and those with co-morbidities. 

In a meeting held between Delhi government officials and public health experts Thursday afternoon, it was decided that 28 more vaccination centres will be added over the next two to three days.

Government officials who attended the meeting confirmed the development to ThePrint adding that the idea is to have at least 300 operational vaccination centres in Delhi before the 50+ years group gets the shot, most likely in the first week of March. 

At present, there are 261 functional Covid-19 centres, of which 228 administer Covishield, the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). The remaining 33 administer Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. 

Delhi began with 81 sites when the vaccination drive was rolled out across India on 16 January.

Also read: Good news from Delhi — Covid cases & fatalities see decline in 2021, 90% hospital beds vacant 

Delhi govt working out priority group

The Delhi government, however, is still in the process of finalising data for what it considers the “biggest priority group” — those above 50 years of age. 

The government believes this demographic will be the largest in the city in terms of numbers and is including them in its Covid database using the electoral rolls. 

Considered to be the largest in terms of numbers, the numbers are being included in the database on the basis of electoral roll figures. 

A senior government official told ThePrint that beneficiaries can make use of the CoWIN section in the Aarogya Setu app to access all possible information about the vaccine. The official added that beneficiaries can use the app to update their age from what is reflected in the last electoral rolls.

“Aarogya Setu App will also have the option for senior citizens to register to get the jab as it will now be linked to the CoWIN app,” the official said.  

The official further clarified that those who don’t find their names in the list released by the government can also submit their names to the block medical official or the nearest healthcare centre. ThePrint had reported about this in January. 

Beneficiary lists yet to be prepared

District magistrates are yet to prepare these lists for their respective areas and submit them to the Delhi health department. 

According to four district magistrates that ThePrint spoke to, however, they are yet to receive guidelines from the government.  

But Dr Suneela Garg, director and professor at the Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, and a member of the Lancet Commission on Covid-19 India Task Force, said: “Those with comorbidities and above 50 will be given priority. The more the age, the sooner is that person’s chance to get the jab.” 

Government sources also told ThePrint that this category will not be given the option to choose the vaccine. 

“It will depend on the centre where the person is enrolled. This will be the closest vaccination centre to the area of residence of the recipient,” a source said, adding that a person may have the choice to choose between centres in case there is more than one in the vicinity. 

“The process is evolving everyday but as of now, there has been no discussion about giving them a choice,” a second senior government official told ThePrint. 

So far, 2,28,300 healthcare and frontline workers have been vaccinated in Delhi, as of Thursday morning, according to government data.

Also read: How effective are Covid vaccines? Delhi centres to test for antibodies before & after shot


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