The Covid-19 vaccination drive has picked up pace only marginally in the two weeks since it was opened up for those above the age of 60 or those above the age of 45 who have severe illness, even as experts continue to call for more inoculations to prevent the emergence of another Covid-19 spike in the city.
On Tuesday, just over 19,000 beneficiaries over the age of 60 were given their first shot of a coronavirus vaccine. There were just over 17,000 people immunised on average each day during last week’s drive. Meanwhile, 3,223 persons over the age of 45 with comorbidities were immunised on Tuesday, up from 2,834 persons who got jabs on average the previous week.
Overall on Tuesday, 38,437 shots of the vaccine were administered. Of these, 27,123 were the first doses, while the rest were the second, thus completing their vaccination against the infection.
There was a low turnout on the first day that the drive was opened up for the general public — around 6,100 turned up — due to confusions about the processes and problems faced with the government’s CoWIN portal.
There are 2.1 million people over the age of 60 living in Delhi, according to data from the latest electoral rolls. To boost immunisation among them, the district teams have been visiting people door-to-door to motivate them to get immunised, registering those who cannot use the online portal, and allowing walk-ins for unregistered persons after 3 pm.
As on Tuesday, nearly 174,700 health care and 266,500 frontline workers in the city have been immunised against the infection. There are around 243,000 health care and 346,000 frontline workers registered in government’s Co-WIN portal in Delhi.
“The solution to Covid-19 remains vaccination, along with masking, social distancing and other Covid-19 norms. There is no dearth of vaccines, and although the drive is picking up pace, it is not commensurate with the Indian population,” said Dr GC Khilnani, former head of the department of pulmonology at All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences.