3rd phase of vaccination: Over 52K vaccinated by Friday evening in Delhi

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New Delhi, Apr 2 (PTI) Over 52,000 beneficiaries received shots on the second day of the third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive which will span 65 lakh people aged above 45 in the national capital.

By 6 pm, at least 52,408 people had received the jabs, a senior official of the Delhi health department said. The final figures at 9 pm wasn't immediately available.

Out of these, 47,873 people got their first jab while the second dose was administered to 4,536 people.

Two cases of minor adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) were reported, the official said.

The inoculation drive is taking place at a time when coronavirus cases have again mounted in the last few weeks. In the first phase, starting January 16, over 3.6 lakh beneficiaries comprising healthcare workers and frontline workers, were vaccinated in Delhi.

Jabs were given to people aged 60 years and above, and those in 45-59 age bracket with comorbidities in the second phase.

'In the third phase, people aged 45 and above as on January 1, 2022 are eligible for the vaccination, irrespective of their comorbidity status,' a senior government officer earlier said.

The vaccination centres, both at government and private facilities, operate from 9 am to 9 pm.

Only registered beneficiaries can be given vaccine shots between 9 am and 3 pm. The unregistered ones can take the jabs from 3 pm to 9 pm. They just need to carry their Aadhaar card or any other valid identity proof, an official said.

The third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive will span 192 health facilities, including 136 private hospitals in the national capital.

The vaccines are being administered free of cost at government hospitals and health centres, while up to Rs 250 per dose will be charged at private health facilities. At some vaccination centres, a rush of beneficiaries was witnessed, but at many other sites the response was moderate.

On Wednesday, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said that 65 lakh eligible beneficiaries (aged above 45 years) will be given coronavirus vaccine at 500 sites, starting Thursday.

'We have enough vaccines available. The number of eligible beneficiaries is quite large. We will make efforts to complete the inoculation as soon as possible,' he had said.

People eligible for the vaccination have to carry their photo identity cards, including Aadhaar and voter cards.

The city has seen a surge in new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks.

Delhi recorded 3,594 fresh cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the highest daily count this year while 14 more people died due to the coronavirus infection, taking the death toll to 11,050, according to the health department.

The positivity rate also mounted to 4.11 per cent from 3.57 per cent a day before, amid a massive surge in cases in a span of few weeks. PTI KND RHL