Fresh guidelines issued to streamline vaccination in Ernakulam

Even as vaccination centres like the one at the Ernakulam General Hospital witnessed long queues on Friday, with people including elderly persons waiting for tokens to take their second dose, the district administration has issued new guidelines to streamline the process.

Some who arrived at the General Hospital early in the morning and stood in line for a few hours, were turned away when tokens began to be issued. The hospital could administer 200 doses a day, and over 200 people had lined up. “Tokens were in fact issued to less than 200 people, since some doses were for those who had booked slots online. Although online bookings are not possible anymore, some bookings were already made well in advance and we cannot turn those beneficiaries away,” said a doctor at the hospital. The General Hospital will not have a COVID vaccination session on Saturday, since children’s immunisation sessions are scheduled for the day.

All online registrations for vaccination have been suspended till further notice. People due for their second shot are being identified by ASHA workers and councillors, and these lists are being verified by health officials at the district level.

For people who have taken the first dose of the vaccine at a private hospital before April 30, the second dose will be available for free at government vaccination centres. Separate vaccination centres are being arranged for these beneficiaries. While health officials in the district have already identified halls, private hospitals are now required to identify beneficiaries awaiting the second dose. A total of 200 doses will be administered daily in this manner. Private hospitals will deploy their own vaccinators at these sites. “These sites will begin functioning depending on the availability of the vaccines in the coming week,” said Dr. M.G. Sivadas, nodal officer for vaccination. While the district received 33,000 doses of Covishield earlier this week, officials are uncertain about when fresh supply can be expected.

So far, 8,69,960 doses have been administered in the district. A total of 5,69,861 people aged above 45 years have taken the first dose. Of them, 75,540 people have taken the second dose. On Friday morning, Ernakulam had 41,730 doses of the two vaccines remaining (13,080 doses of Covaxin and 28,650 doses of Covishield).

Those who have taken their first Covaxin dose at private hospitals can take the second dose at the Edappally family health centre on all days except Wednesday and Sunday. They can also take it at taluk hospitals, the Muvattupuzha General Hospital and the Aluva District Hospital on Saturdays from May 15 onwards.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sivadas said that Apollo Adlux Hospital has procured 5,000 doses of Covaxin and permission was given to the hospital on Friday to begin administering the vaccine. Registrations for vaccination at the hospital will be through the CoWIN portal, he said. “The hospital has been permitted to administer 200 doses daily, and this will be open to all over 18 years,” Dr. Sivadas said.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 10:31:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fresh-guidelines-issued-to-streamline-vaccination-in-ernakulam/article34508545.ece

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