Govt. centres to continue inoculating 18+ age group

Turnout lower than expected, say officials

The arrangements put in place for inoculating the 18+ age group at Government COVID Vaccination Centres (GCVCs) will continue beyond the stipulated three-day time frame ending July 3.

On June 30, Health officials had announced that potential beneficiaries have to book a slot on CoWIN to get the jab at a government-designated centre in GHMC limits and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), while walk-ins would be allowed at rural Primary Health Centres (PHCs).

This was the first time that vaccination was opened to 18-plus citizens at government centres — until then, the only option was to get jabbed at private facilities. The arrangement was to be applicable until July 3. However, on the final day, Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao announced that it would continue further.

The time interval between two doses of Covishield was increased to 14-16 weeks and vaccination for 18-30 age group was started from July 1 to vaccinate maximum number of people with at least the first dose.

However, the turnout has been lower than expected.

The Health department is providing 2,000 slots per day at each of the 100 GCVCs in GHMC, 250 per centre in the 204 centres in ULBs, and 150 per PHC in rural areas. Put together, 3.4 lakh slots are available on a daily basis.

However, only around 1.68 lakh to 1.82 lakh persons got vaccinated on July 1 and 2. Officials said the response was lower than expected. Of the 1.82 lakh who took the jab on Friday, 1.17 lakh belonged to the 18-44 years age group. The State is left with around 4.5 lakh more vaccine doses.

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