Among the government hospitals where the first booths have been set up are AIIMS, Safdarjung, Lok Nayak and Hindu Rao, and among the private ones are Max, Fortis, Apollo and Sir Ganga Ram. The dry run conducted on Friday had involved 150 booths and officials say the plan is to eventually have around 1,000 vaccination points across the capital.
The reason behind starting the drive vaccination at a limited number of booths is to ensure that the government is able to effectively handle adverse situations, if any are reported, post vaccination.
Govt Awaiting Shipment’s Arrival
The authorities have enrolled all health workers of the capital from the government and private sectors, about 2.25 lakh in all, for receiving the inoculation.
The Delhi government will supply the vaccines to all centres and the shots will be given for free to the targeted population of 51 lakh.
“For the first phase of vaccination, the Delhi government has finalised 89 hospitals. Along with 2,25,000 healthcare workers who will get the shots, Delhi government will also include teachers who have worked as frontline workers during the Covid pandemic,” said health minister Satyendar Jain, adding that the vaccines will start arriving between January 12 and 14.
The health minister said Delhi government has prepared a robust storage system for the vaccines. At the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, one of the largest Delhi government hospitals at in Dilshad Garden in northeast Delhi, the vaccination storage is located in an area spread over 4,700 square feet and is divided into eight large rooms, where all the work related to laying the cold storage infrastructure was completed last week with the installation of all equipment required to ensure optimum safety of the vaccines. It has already been handed over to the health and family welfare department.
The Delhi government has earmarked an additional vaccine storage facility in Civil Lines, but officials handling the vaccination exercise said the RGSSH facility was adequate for the number of vaccines required in the capital. The Civil Lines facility will not be required, they said. The vaccines will be transported to 603 cold chain points created across 11 districts in special vans. From the cold chain points, the vaccines will be taken to the vaccination booths in vaccine carriers.
“The central government has finalised around 5,000 sites across the country. As per the Centre’s instructions, Delhi government has prepared these 89 sites. At every centre, there will be eight-nine handling the drive,” Jain said.
“The whole system is ready, and we are fully prepared to start the drive. Right now, we are only waiting for the arrival of the vaccines. As soon as these arrive, the drive will start,” said Jain.
After a few days, the number of booths will be increased and frontline workers and people above 50 (part of 51 lakh targeted population in phase one) will also start receiving Covid shots. Before the vaccination drive starts, one more dry run is likely to be conducted.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has requested the central government to provide free vaccines to everyone in the city.