The online portal launched on Thursday by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) to book slots for COVID-19 vaccination received an overwhelming response on day one with all slots getting booked in a few hours.
People who tried to book early on Friday were in for disappointment as all the slots were full.
Launching the portal gccvaccine.in on Thursday, the Corporation said that one-third of the doses allocated to each vaccination centre every day would be reserved for booking through the portal. The remaining two-thirds would be kept for walk-in beneficiaries. Apart from the portal, the Corporation announced two other modes of booking slots — by calling 044-46122300 or via WhatsApp on 9499933644.
Of the total 17,300 Covishield doses that were available across 45 vaccination centres and 19 Urban Community Health Centres on Friday, one-thirds were reserved for online booking.
Corporation officials said all the slots were booked soon after they opened. Late in the afternoon on Friday, 4,550 slots were opened for Saturday.
Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said more than 50% of these slots had been booked by Friday evening. “We are receiving very positive response for the portal. The idea is to ease the procedure and avoid queuing at the centres. Those who make an online booking can go at the specific time with a government-approved identity card and get vaccinated without delay,” he said. He added that others who walk-in without appointments will be catered through a separate queue at the centre.
Vishu Mahajan, Deputy Commissioner (Revenue and Finance), said the slots would be opened a day in advance once the Corporation gets information on how many doses would be available for the following day.
“The slots will be opened between 12 noon to 2 p.m. everydayto book appointments for the following day. However, the timing may vary slightly depending on when we get to know the availability status,” he added.
The Corporation has, however, opened the online booking at the moment only for Covishield. Mr. Mahajan said this was due to the special drive that was in progress until Saturday to administer the second dose of Covaxin to those who missed it. “Once that is over, Covaxin will also be available for online booking,” he said.