COVID-19 vaccine to be given to people in Delhi for free once it arrives: Health Minister Jain

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New Delhi, Jan 2 (PTI) Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday said COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to people in the national capital for free once it arrives, and asserted that the city government has made all preparations for the vaccination drive.

Interacting with reporters during his visit to a facility in Daryaganj as part of a dry run exercise held here to assess the preparations for the vaccine roll-out, Jain said the system 'seems flawless' as of now.

'I came to see the preparations as part of the dry run being done. Three sites have been selected for it — GTB Hospital Shahdara, Urban Primary Health Centre, Daryaganj, and Venkateshwar Hospital, Dwarka,' he said.

Three categories of facilities have been chosen, a government hospital, a private facility and a public dispensary, to see preparedness of all three, Jain said.

All preparations are being done, and 1,000 vaccine centres will be set up across the city, the health minister said.

When asked if the vaccine will be free of cost, Jain said, 'Yes, and in Delhi, the treatment and medicines are given for free.' Vaccination centres will either be hospitals or facilities linked to hospitals, he said.

Asked what will happen if complications are noticed after vaccination, Jain said emergency rooms will be set up at the centres, and those getting the vaccine dose will be kept there under observation for half an hour.

'There is a monitoring station crated at a vaccination centre and any side effects, like headache, body pain will be immediately looked into, and hospital linkage anyway is there,' he added.

The minister said the Delhi government has so far made preparations to vaccinate one lakh people in a day. Social distancing will be maintained, and people will be admitted to the centres in batches of ten, he added.

The Delhi government is fully prepared to receive, store and administer COVID-19 vaccine to 51 lakh priority category persons in the city in the first phase of vaccination, Jain said.

These include healthcare workers, who will be first to receive, followed by frontline workers, people aged above 50 and those below 50 years but with co-morbidities, he added.

Delhi recorded 494 fresh COVID-19 cases, the lowest in over seven months, and 14 new fatalities on Saturday, even as the positivity rate stood at 0.73 per cent, authorities said.

The infection tally in the city stands at over 6.26 lakh and death toll rose to 10,561, they said.

Jain tweeted that the positivity rate has been below one per cent for the past 11 days. PTI KND TDS TDS