Centre urges states/UTs to exponentially increase pace of COVID-19 vaccination

NEW DELHI: The vaccination drive against COVID-19 picked up pace on Saturday as many beneficiaries who had received their first shots on day one of the exercise four weeks ago turned up to get their second dose.

The second dose delivery began at LNJP Hospital as well and over 20 persons had received the second shots by noon, a senior official at the facility said.

The state-run hospital, currently a partial coronavirus facility, had played a critical role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Delhi.

Under the nationwide mega vaccination drive launched on January 16, a total of 4,319 (53 per cent) health workers against a target of 8,117, were administered the shots at 81 centres across the city on day one.

The number of centres where vaccination was carried out on Friday stood at 257, with a turnout of about 57 per cent, as over 14,800 people received COVID-19 vaccine shots in Delhi on the fourth week of the inoculation drive.

Authorities said they were all geared up for the delivery of second dose of vaccination for the beneficiaries who were given jabs in the beginning of the exercise.

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As per doctors, the second dose is to given to a beneficiary after a gap of 28 days.

A senior doctor at the Centre for Chest and Respiratory Illness, BLK Super Speciality Hospital received his second COVID vaccine shot on Saturday, a spokesperson of the hospital said.

A senior doctor at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital said, “We are all geared up for the second dose delivery.”

On the second scheduled day after the roll-out of the exercise on January 16, the figures had stood at 3,598 (44 per cent of the target).

The sharp fall had come after one severe and 50 minor adverse effect cases were reported on the opening day of the vaccination drive.

The count on third schedule day was much higher at 4,936 (48 per cent).

After a sluggish start, since the exercise was kicked off January 16, the inoculation drive had picked up pace in the last several days.

“On Friday, 14,843 people were administered coronavirus vaccine,  and AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) was reported in seven persons,” a senior official of the Delhi Health Department had said.

Delhi recorded 141 fresh COVID-19 cases and three deaths on Friday, even as the positivity rate stood at 0.22 per cent, authorities said.