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Centre opens walk-ins for all, but where are the vaccines?

Updated on: 25 May,2021 07:32 AM IST  |  New Delhi
Agencies |

On-site booking for 18-44 years age group only at govt centres; announcement comes even as states are struggling to immunise the younger category or pausing drive due to shortage of shots

Centre opens walk-ins for all, but where are the vaccines?

Relatives mourn their loved one who died of COVID-19, outside a mortuary in New Delhi on Monday. Pic/AFP

On-site registration and appointment has now been enabled for the 18-44 years age group on the CoWin platform for Covid-19 vaccination, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. But, this feature is being enabled only for government Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs) at present, it said.

The coverage of vaccination was expanded to people in the age group of 18 to 44 years on May 1, with the facility of only online appointment to avoid overcrowding at the centres.

The walk-in registration will be used only upon decision of respective states and UT governments. States and UT must decide on opening of on-site registrations/facilitated cohorts’ registration and appointments for 18-44 years age group based on the local context just as an additional measure to minimise vaccine wastage and for facilitating vaccination of eligible beneficiaries in the age group of 18-44 years, the ministry said in its statement.

Also Read: Mumbai sees drop in new cases of Covid-19

Shortage of shots

The announcement comes at a time when some state are pausing vaccination of 18-44 years category. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Monday said the state was facing a severe shortage of vaccines and has barely two-three days of shots left in its stock for the 18-44 years category. He said Jharkhand got barely 40 lakh doses of vaccines against a requirement of 4 crore doses, leading to the shortage.

Soren said the Centre failed to alert states and take necessary measures even as it had prior knowledge of the second wave of the pandemic.

Delhi shut all the 400 vaccination sites for the 18-44 age group after the vaccine stock was over, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Monday. The centres giving Covaxin to the 45+ age group, healthcare and frontline workers have also been shut due to unavailability of shots, he added.

No deal with states: Pfizer

Stressing that vaccination is the need of the hour to protect people against the coronavirus, Sisodia said they have spoken to Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & and Johnson for vaccines.

“Pfizer and Moderna have refused to sell us directly saying they are talking to the Centre. The Centre has not approved Pfizer and Moderna whereas the world over they have been approved and bought by countries,” he said.

‘Readying for 3rd wave’

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said his government has imported 6,000 oxygen cylinders from China which will be stored at three depots and used in case of a third wave of coronavirus.

Kejriwal also said the second wave is waning gradually and the city government has started preparations for a possible third wave. “Around 6,000 oxygen cylinders have been airlifted from China, of which we have received 4,400. The remaining 1,600 will arrive within two to three days,” he told reporters.

The Gujarat government said it will continue with the online registration system for the 18-44 years age group. 

Gujarat Health and Family Welfare Department issued a statement saying this new feature of “on the spot registration” will not be applicable in the state for now.

SC unhappy with migrant workers’ registration

The Supreme Court on Monday said the process of registration of migrant workers is “very slow” and it must be expedited so that benefit of various schemes can be extended to them amid the Covid-19 pandemic. “The process of registration is very slow. We are not happy with the efforts undertaken by the Centre and states on registration of unorganised workers,” the bench said. The SC stressed that the benefit of schemes for them can be extended after they are identified and registered by authorities.

SpiceJet crew off-rostered for mid-air wedding in violation of Covid norms

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has off-rostered the crew of a SpiceJet flight in which a wedding took place mid-air with several guests and relatives violating Covid-19 norms. The district administration has launched a probe. The wedding took place on Sunday on a chartered flight that left the Madurai airport and remained airborne for approximately two hours, sources said on Monday. The crew was off-rostered for not enforcing the Covid-19 safety norms onboard.

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