COVID-19: Over 29,000 people vaccinated on Friday

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI) Over 29,000 beneficiaries received COVID-19 vaccine shots in the national capital on Friday, as per official data.

In the age bracket, 45-59 years, 2,540 beneficiaries received the jabs, while 12,683 senior citizens also got their first shots, a senior official said, adding that a total of 29,499 people were vaccinated across 385 sites.

Two cases of minor AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) were recorded, officials said. On Thursday, 40,564 people had received jabs while the count on Wednesday was 28,394, a major fall in number from the 38,437 people who had received the vaccine shots on Tuesday.

'The sessions sites on Wednesday and Friday are fewer as dispensary-based sites are not functional,' a senior official said.

Addressing a virtual press conference, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday acknowledged the rise in coronavirus cases in the national capital in the last few days but said it was not a matter of worry, even as he announced that capacity of inoculation per day in Delhi will be augmented from 30,000-40,000 to 1.25 lakh.

He also said the number of vaccination centres will be doubled to 1,000 from about 500 at present spanning both government and private facilities, and the closing time for vaccination would be extended, to run from 9 am to 9 pm from 9 am to 5 pm currently. An order was also issued later by the government on the extension of timing.

Vaccination centres in the national capital will operate till 9 pm starting March 22, according to the official order.

A copy of the order issued by the city government's health department was shared by Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain in a tweet on Friday.

'Taking cognisance of the sudden surge in the COVID cases, all Delhi Govt hospitals will hereby operate vaccination sites in their premises till at least 9 pm. Adequate manpower will be deployed to ensure the same. I request Delhiites to follow proper protocols and stay safe!,' he tweeted.

Under the nationwide mega vaccination drive launched mid-January, 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.

In the first phase, starting January 16, over 3.6 lakh beneficiaries comprising healthcare workers and frontline workers, have been vaccinated in Delhi.

Over 5,100 senior citizens in Delhi had received their first shots of the vaccine on March 1 when the second phase of the vaccination drive began in the national capital.

As per official estimates, there are around 43 lakh people in the specified priority category of 60 years or above and those within 45-59 years with comorbidities in Delhi.

People within the age group of 45-59 years with comorbidities are required to produce a comorbidity certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner. A total of 20 comorbidities have been specified for the vaccination, the officials said.

People eligible for vaccination also have to carry their photo identity cards, including Aadhaar card, PAN card or voter card.

On Friday, second doses were given to 11,006 people, the officials said, adding that 1,630 frontline workers and 1,641 healthcare workers got their first shots. PTI KND KJ