LAST UPDATED: April 1, 2021, 8:56 p.m.
New Delhi: As the third phase of coronavirus vaccination for those above 45 years and above, irrespective of comorbidities, commenced on Thursday, people turned out in large numbers in the national capital to receive the jab.
India kicked off the third phase of its nationwide inoculation drive against coronavirus on Thursday. More than six crore people have received the jab in the country till now.
The Central government said that it is important to vaccinate people above the age group of 45 years as they are most vulnerable and form 88 per cent of the total Covid-19 deaths in India.
Serpentine queues formed outside various vaccination centres on the first day of the phase. People either pre-booked their slots or walked in after 3 p.m. There are about 34 crore people above 45 years of age.
Asked about their experience with getting the life-saving vaccine, beneficiaries said that they were satisfied. People also got their photos clicked in the photo-booths in the centres.
At Delhi’s Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, more than 200 people were vaccinated from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, while around 500 people got vaccinated by 3 p.m., including those taking the second dose.
RML Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Rana A.K. Singh told IANS that “people are very excited to get vaccinated. The hospital had already made complete preparations for the vaccination.”
“We have also installed an ICU bed at the vaccination centre to deal with any emergency. RML Hospital has so far vaccinated about 16,000 people.”
Dr Rishi, working at RML Hospital, told IANS that: “According to my knowledge, more than 400 people have been vaccinated till 2.30 pm. This includes those who had the second dose.” “
“No one has faced any problem so far, there has been no problem in any kind of registration. People are already coming by registering,” he said.
Delhi resident Ashok Jain, who arrived to get a second dose at the RML hospital, told IANS that “the arrangement in the hospital is very good, compared to other private hospitals. Preventive norms are also being followed in the hospital”.
The four Marwaha brothers above the age of 70 came to get themselves vaccinated. Two brothers received the second doses, while the others got the first jab.
“Getting the vaccine is a big relief. I would appeal every one to get it,” one of the brothers said.
This vaccination phase comes at a time when the country is seeing a surge in the number of daily infections after cases went down in December and January.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 for healthcare workers and vaccination of the frontline workers started from February 2.
The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specific comorbid conditions.
In a significant step to exponentially expand the countrywide vaccination drive, the Centre has decided to operationalise both public and private sector Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs) on all days of April, including gazetted holidays.