By Sahil Pandey
New Delhi [India], May 27 (ANI): A drive-through COVID-19 vaccination centre has been set for all eligible beneficiaries above 18 years of age at Saket's Select City Walk mall in south Delhi.
The centre, located in a parking lot of the mall, became operational on Thursday due to the efforts of Delhi Deputy Commissioner Abhishek Singh through his 'United by Blood' initiative. At present, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine is being administered at the centre in association with Fortis hospital, informed Singh.
This is the second drive-through vaccination centre started in Delhi. The first such centre was inaugurated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday at Vegas Mall in Dwarka.
"United by blood has launched 'vaccination in car' facility. We are launching for the first time for 18 years of age and above. This facility is already working in Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, and Noida," IAS officer Abhishek Singh told ANI.
The 33-year-old deputy commissioner pointed out that he aims to accelerate vaccination by the drive-through process which is quicker and efficient along with being safe.
"The drive-in program is a safe, efficient, and quick method of administering the COVID-19. Hospitals and medical centres are suffering from overcrowding, while open spaces like shopping malls and commercial complexes provide a convenient alternative. This resource should be fully utilised in the current situation," he added.
Talking about the registration process, Singh explained, "A person can register through United By Blood web portal and you will be allocated a time slot. You will be verified and registered through CoWin on the spot. A healthcare professional will vaccinate you inside the car. After vaccination, you will be observed for 30 minutes at a designated parking space."
For any case of adverse effect, a dedicated ambulance has also been deployed at the location. So, in case a person experiences an adverse event following immunization (AEFI) then the individual can switch on the parking lights and a healthcare professional will attend the vaccine beneficiary.
"The response has been tremendous and yesterday (on Wednesday), we vaccinated 500 people and 500 slots got filled in 20 minutes. If we get more vaccines then we will inoculate as many as possible," Singh added.
Talking about the experience at the drive-through vaccination centre, a resident from the city, Arnon Sudhakaran said, "As I thought, the vaccination was given inside the car and there was no need to step out. This is a great initiative which is also safe."
Another beneficiary Sakshi Jain, who received the vaccine lauded the drive-through centre and said, "This is a better way to vaccinate people without coming in contact with anybody, you don't have to step out of the car and still get vaccinated."
Expressing his future plans, Abhishek Singh said, "Next, we will take the drive-through vaccination all across the country. Next week, we will go to Goa, West Bengal, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and will expand. As the third wave of COVID-19 is also coming and it could be a threat to children, we will try to vaccinate young parents on priority. We will try to motivate them for vaccination."
Earlier through his not-for-profit initiative 'United by Blood', Singh connected helped people looking for plasma donors. He has also helped set up doorstep oxygen delivery via cabs.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia inaugurated the drive-through at Saket mall.
According to Singh, for the convenience of citizens, 'United by Blood' will be giving a real-time live feed on the number of doses available and the number of cars in the queue, so that they can plan their drive-in accordingly.
Since all the people will be in their cars, social distancing norms will be automatically followed and in a better fashion, he said. (ANI)