Over 9,200 people get COVID-19 vaccine shots on Friday in Delhi; turnout 50 pc

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New Delhi, Feb 5 (PTI) More than 9,200 healthcare workers received COVID-19 vaccine shots in Delhi on Friday in the third week of the inoculation drive, with a turnout of more than 50 per cent.

Sources said vaccination will now begin for frontline workers too from Saturday onwards. Frontline workers include, police, civil defence staff, DJB and electricity department employees, among others.

Also, the number of scheduled days, from initially being four days -- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday -- have now been extended to six days a week, Monday-Saturday, they said.

After a sluggish start since the exercise was kicked off January 16, the inoculation drive had picked up pace in the last several days.

The targeted number for vaccination on February 5 was 18,400, officials said.

'Today, 9,216 people were administered coronavirus vaccine and AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) was reported in 12 persons,' a senior official of the Delhi Health Department said.

On the previous day of the vaccination drive, 9,494 healthcare workers had got the jabs with a turnout of about 51 per cent.

Under the nationwide mega vaccination drive launched on January 16, 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.

On the second scheduled day, the figures had stood at 3,598 (44 per cent of the target). The sharp fall had come after one severe and 50 minor adverse effect cases were reported, on the opening day of the vaccination drive.

The count on third schedule day was much higher, at 4,936 (48 per cent).

Various reasons were being attributed to the low turnout in the initial days, including some technical issues and apprehensions related to adverse events.

However, the government has maintained that no case of serious/severe AEFI is attributable to vaccination till date.

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield is being administered at majority of the centres while Bharat Biotech-made Covaxin doses given at the remaining facilities.

The Delhi government had taken measures like counselling and formal phone calls to raise the percentage of healthcare workers turning up for being administered COVID-19 vaccine. The district-wise distribution of total 12 AEFI cases on Friday were -- Central Delhi (0), East Delhi (0), New Delhi (1), North Delhi (3), North East Delhi (0), North West Delhi (1), Shahdara (5), South Delhi (0), South East Delhi (1), South West Delhi (1) and West Delhi (0), according to the data shared by authorities.

With low turnout of healthcare workers on the first two days of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had recently said the exercise is voluntary and a matter of 'personal decision' for people whether to get a shot or not, but all efforts are being made to boost their confidence.

He had reiterated that this is a voluntary exercise and people are making their own decisions as it's the initial phase. PTI KND KJ KJ