Young Indians scramble to sign up for vaccines as rollout is extended to all adults amid devastating second wave

Mayank Aggarwal
·2-min read
<p>People wearing protective face masks wait to receive a vaccine against Covid-19 at a vaccination centre in Mumbai, India, on 28 April </p> (Reuters)

People wearing protective face masks wait to receive a vaccine against Covid-19 at a vaccination centre in Mumbai, India, on 28 April

(Reuters)

Indians aged 18-45 are scrambling to sign up for Covid-19 vaccines as the government expanded its programme to all adults as the country faces a severe second wave of the pandemic.

The country has recorded close to 2.5 million cases over the past eight days, adding pressure on the already crumbling health infrastructure of the country.

The shortage of critical supplies including oxygen, medicines and beds in hospitals has only added to the problems faced by patients.

For the last several days, India has seen a record daily number of coronavirus cases. On Wednesday, it recorded 379,257 cases and 3,645 deaths – a conservative number considering reports that many cases and deaths are not being properly recorded.

The record rise in the number of cases has led many experts to call for the rapid vaccination of the population. Opposition leaders have also demanded that the government expand vaccination to all adults as it was only available only for people over 45.

However, the registration process launched on Wednesday was marred by technical glitches as people scrambled to register for the rollout from 1 May. Thousands failed to register online while even those who were able are unsure about the availability of vaccines.

Vaccine makers are already struggling to fulfil their quotas, leading users on social media and members of the opposition parties to question the usefulness of the process if there will be limited vaccines available.

There has been a growing emphasis on the vaccination of young Indians because unlike last year youngsters are increasingly becoming infected and succumbing to the virus.

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On social media, people even shared memes and jokes about the registration process, though the glitch was later fixed.

India’s health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, said within the first three hours about eight million people had registered.

So far, India has administered the first vaccine jab to over 124 million people and over 25 million have received the second dose as well. But the process ahead looks bleak.

Delhi government’s health minister on Thursday said that as of now they do not have enough vaccines but have requested the companies manufacturing them to supply them.

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