COVID-19: Over 46,000 people vaccinated in Delhi on Saturday, highest in a day

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New Delhi, Mar 20 (PTI) Over 46,000 beneficiaries received shots of COVID-19 vaccine in the national capital on Saturday, the highest in a day till date, officials said.

In the age bracket 45-59 years, 4,794 beneficiaries received the shots, while 22,376 senior citizens also got their first jabs, a senior official said.

A total of 46,769 people were vaccinated across 548 sites and two cases of minor AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) were recorded, officials said.

'This is the highest number of single-day vaccinations achieved so far (in the city) since the starting of the COVID-19 immunisation drive on January 16,' the official said.

On Friday, 29,499 people had received jabs while on Thursday it was 40,564.

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

Addressing a virtual press conference, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday had 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 daily in Delhi will be augmented from 30,000-40,000 to 1.25 lakh.

He had also said the number of vaccination centres would 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 am from 9 am to 5 pm currently.

An order was also issued later by the government on the extension of timing, effective March 22.

Delhi on Saturday reported over 800 COVID-19 cases for the first time this year as the positivity rate breached the 1 per cent-mark after over two months, while two more fatalities pushed the death toll to 10,955, according to data shared by the health department.

Under the nationwide mega vaccination drive launched mid-January, a total of 4,319 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.

According to 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 Saturday, second dose of vaccine was given to 14,100 people, officials said, adding, 3,151 frontline workers and 2,348 healthcare workers got their first shots. PTI KND NSD NSD