Third phase of vaccination sees slow start at Gujarat’s private hospitals
Daily News

Third phase of vaccination sees slow start at Gujarat’s private hospitals

While 600 government centres, including PHCs and CHCs have been commissioned, an additional 300 private hospitals have also been roped in


Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Vinay Umarji  | 

The first day of the third phase of Covid-19 vaccination kicked off in Gujarat on Monday amid teething issues, especially at private facilities.

The state has begun registering and vaccinating citizens above age 60 as well as those in the 45-60-year bracket and with co-morbidities at both government and PM-JAY-cum-CGHS empanelled private hospitals from March 1. While 600 government centres, including PHCs and CHCs have been commissioned, an additional 300 private hospitals have also been roped in.

However, a visit to samples of both government and private hospitals has seen a slow start to the ambitious third phase that looks to inoculate an estimated five million people above 60 years of age and 200,000-300,000 in the 45-60 age bracket with co-morbidities in the state.

“We are only registering people on a walk-in basis and assuring them that they will be intimated when the vaccination begins. We have not heard from the authorities yet with regards to any supply of doses or how and when to begin the inoculation drive. We are told that officials from the local body health department or state government would be visiting and informing us on the same,” said a staff at the Aarna Super Specialty Hospital in Ahmedabad that has been listed as one of the private facilities for the drive.

Similarly, the public private partnership (PPP) run Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (SVP) Hospital too had yet to kick-off vaccination by noon with hardly a dozen or so beneficiaries being registered in the first few hours of the day. Several “nitty-gritties were being worked out” and a formal go-ahead was awaited, said a staff at SVP.

Citizens too faced problems in registering on the first day, especially through the Co-WIN and Aarogya Setu app. “We had already registered through the municipal corporation’s website a couple of months ago before the vaccination drive began but no intimation was received on the same. Even today, we tried to register on the Aarogya Setu but till noon there was no option to register for the third phase. After noon, when the option was visible on the app, we were unable to register due to the busy server getting hanged frequently,” said Nishit Joshi, 39, who was registering his father 65 and mother 62 for the third phase of vaccination.

Authorities, however, claimed that the launch had been smooth. “There is no shortage of vaccines. Doses have been supplied to all districts and most of the last-mile centres. It is not necessary to begin vaccination from day one. Even registration is part of the drive and the launch has been successful. However, we will get a clearer picture by evening,” said Nayan Jani, state immunisation officer for Gujarat.

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