- 2nd phase of COVID vaccine will target above 60 and 45 with comobidity
- Vaccine shots will be given at 10,000 government-run centres, free of cost
- Vaccine shots will also be 20,000 private centres at Rs 250
New Delhi: 69-year-old, Mr Rishipal from Delhi is not only a senior citizen but also a heart patient since 13 years. Mr Rishipal has undergone two bypass surgeries in the past, and was recently admitted at the Delhi government-run Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital due to heart-related issues. Mr Rishpal knows that with his condition as well as age, he is more vulnerable to the coronavirus than others and so the last year has been tough for him trying to protect himself from the virus. However, when he heard that the COVID-19 vaccine will now be available for people above the of 60 as well as for those above 45 with comorbidity, he breathed a sigh of relief.
Everybody used to say that this disease mostly catches those who are in the senior age group. So I barely used to go out of my house for not only my sake but also for my family members. I will get vaccinated now. This will ensure that me and my family members are fully safe, Mr Rishipal said.
Just like Mr Rishipal, the news of the vaccination being available for public has brought a ray of hope for many like him.
Hospitals are gearing up for the second phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, as the government aims to vaccinate over 27 crore people, of whom around 10 crore are over the age of 60, starting March 1. The daily targets are about to double up as second doses of healthcare and frontline workers will go on simultaneously, a statement from Union Health Ministry has stated.
A few beds away from Mr Rishipal, in the cardiac ward, is 47-year-old Mohammad Akbar Ansari. He suffered a heart attack four years ago, but never recovered fully and has had to make frequent hospital visits due to his condition. Mr Ansari said tells NDTV,
I have a wife and three daughters back home. As a heart patient, the pandemic was scary. Not just for me but even my family members had to be extra cautious and stay at home as much as possible. I want to get vaccinated at the earliest so that we all can live our lives a little more easily.
Doctors say that they are being flooded with queries after the government announced the second phase of vaccination. Nodal Officer for COVID-19 at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital in Delhi, Dr Ajeet Jain, told NDTV,
We will turn the selfie area for vaccinated beneficiaries into an observation area now and increase seating for 25 people. There is another hall which will be used to create additional seating of 50 people. We are aiming to increase the capacity to 220 vaccinations per day comfortably, without compromising on quality. Currently, we vaccinate about 120 people daily.
Furthermore, he said that people with comorbidities had been anxious and eager from the very beginning and as soon as they heard that the rollout is set to begin, they have been calling to ask if they can come to the hospital to get vaccinated.
Especially people with cardiac diseases, cancer and chronic respiratory disorders. I have been telling them that soon they will be able to download the mobile application, CoWin app, and if they are not tech-savvy they can come to the hospital and we will help them with registration, Dr Jain added.
At Chandigarh’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), healthcare workers are working to increase the rate of vaccination. Director of PGI Chandigarh Jagat Ram told NDTV,
Senior citizens have shown a lot of eagerness for vaccination. Even much before the government announcement, senior citizens had been enquiring about it. We are fully prepared. Our institute is capable of four vaccination sites within the premises. At present, only two are being used for healthcare and frontline workers but all four sites will be made functional when the vaccination for general population begins.
68-year-old Yogender Kwatra is a property agent and social worker in Chandigarh and wants to get vaccinated soon, as his work involves daily public interactions. But he’s hesitant and raised concerns over the side-effects of the vaccines.
My profession is such that I am constantly worried about getting infected. I had been waiting for the vaccine so that we could protect ourselves against COVID. But I am also in a dilemma about which of the two vaccines I should take? Also, the Prime Minister and other VIPs and ministers have not been vaccinated yet. What if I get vaccinated and there are side-effects? he questioned.
March 1 onwards, vaccine shots will be given at 10,000 government-run centres, free of cost and 20,000 private centres. Charges for vaccination at privately-run centres has been capped by the government at Rs. 250. The mobile app – CoWin (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) would be used to help people register for their shots and locate their nearest vaccination centres.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.