Some pvt hospitals start COVID vaccination for 18-44 yrs; CM says drive to begin in Delhi on Monday

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New Delhi, Apr 30 (PTI) Some private hospital chains commenced COVID-19 immunisation drive for the 18-44 age group at limited centres in the country on Saturday, while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that inoculation of people in that age group in the national capital will begin from Monday.

Kejriwal said 4.5 lakh vaccine doses have been received by the city government and urged people not to queue up outside the vaccination centres, saying walk-ins are not allowed yet. He visited a vaccination centre at Saraswati Vihar for a 'symbolic launch' of the drive.

The Delhi government has placed orders for 67 lakh doses each of Covishield and Covaxin from Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech respectively which would be supplied in three months.

Apollo Hospitals sources said the drive commenced at its centres in Hyderabad and Kolkata, but not in Delhi. According to them, immunisation for the 18-44 age group at its hospital in Delhi is likely to begin either by Monday or Tuesday when vaccines are likely to arrive.

Sources said that the private vaccination centres were not being shown on the CoWIN app for registration.

Max Healthcare said that the inoculation drive began at 'select hospitals in the network in the NCR of Delhi'.

According to a statement, 'Presently, vaccines will be available at Max Healthcare facilities at Panchsheel Park, Patparganj, Shalimar Bagh, Rajinder Place (BLK-Max Hospital), Noida and Vaishali in the NCR.' However, the vaccination exercise could not begin at Fortis Healthcare on Saturday since the stock arrived only in the evening, sources said, adding inoculation would begin from Sunday.

Fortis Healthcare, in a statement, had said people in the 18-44 age group will be administered Covaxin for Rs 1,250, which will include the cost of vaccine and administration charges, at its 'centres across north India'.

Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka, said the COVID-19 vaccination drive for the 18-44 age group that was supposed to start from Saturday has been put on hold till further notice due to a shortage in vaccine supply.

'We will inform the people registered with us shortly for further process,' it said.

India rolled out the third phase of its COVID-19 vaccination drive for those in the 18-45 age group on Saturday though the inoculation process failed to take off in some states due to a shortage of vaccines.

While Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir among other states and union territories launched the vaccination drive, Karnataka and Odisha made only a symbolic start to it. PTI SLB NSD NSD