Guj: Over 55,000 in 18-44 age group get COVID-19 vaccine jab

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Ahmedabad, May 1 (PTI) Over 55,000 persons in the 18- 44 age group received their first shot of COVID-19 vaccine in ten districts of Gujarat on the first day of the phase three of the drive on Saturday, the state government said.

Out of 80,000 vaccine doses administered to those in 18-44 years group across nine states where the drive was launched, Gujarat alone accounted for 55,235 doses, it said.

The state government had made arrangements to vaccinate 60,000 persons in the new priority group during the day.

The third phase of the drive for those above 18 years of age started in ten districts worst affected by the pandemic: Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Kutch, Mehsana, Bharuch and Gandhinagar.

People, mostly youngsters, were seen queueing up outside the vaccination centres enthusiastically.

'Vaccination is the only way to overcome the coronavirus pandemic. I would like to appeal to people to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest,' said a young beneficiary.

Confusion prevailed at some centres due to crowding.

At many centres, people arrived without having received an SMS after getting registered on the Co-WIN portal.

Only those who had registered themselves were allowed entry and given tokens on the basis of text messages received by them specifying the date, place and time for vaccination, officials said.

In Ahmedabad, 76 sites had been set up for vaccination of the new priority group.

Rajkot health officer Pankaj Rathod said that inoculation for 18-44 age group took place at 48 centres.

'On the first day, around 10,000 beneficiaries have registered for vaccination,' he added.

Some 7,000 beneficiaries in the new priority group were likely to get vaccinated in Vadodara, officials said.

The drive was launched in a limited manner in Gujarat as the state received only three lakh doses from Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute against orders for 2.5 crore doses placed by the Gujarat government, officials said. PTI KA KRK KRK