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Coronavirus | Vaccine registrations begin for those above 18, amid glitches

People wait with freezers used to preserve bodies outside a hospital in New Delhi on April 28, 2021.   | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Vaccine registrations for those aged 18-44 began on Wednesday with several — after some glitches — able to enrol, but unable to get appointments at hospitals for vaccination.

Though no figure was available for precisely how many in this age bracket registered, Ram Sewak Sharma, Chairman, CoWIN, told The Hindu via a text message that “most” of the 8 million who had registered on Wednesday belonged to the 18-44 age bracket.

 

Though vaccines are to be available for all adults below 45 from May 1, as per the Centre’s new policy, this is contingent on States — and not the Centre — making them available to citizens. The Centre will continue to provide vaccines to States and vaccinate, for free, those over 45. States on the other hand have to negotiate with vaccine companies the price at which they will buy vaccines. This again will be from the 50% of the vaccines that are made and cleared by the Central Drug Research Laboratory, Kasauli. The remaining will continue to go to the Centre for its programme.

OTP problem

At 4 p.m., many who attempted to register for a date complained on social media that they were not getting an OTP. Reports abounded of the CoWIN website remaining inaccessible. However, towards later in the evening more reported as being able to register but unable to get an appointment. The common message was that hospitals were only offering appointments on various dates for those over 45.

An exception was Sanket Vijayasarathy, 29, a technology journalist based in South Delhi, who told The Hindu that he had got an appointment for a first dose of the Covishield vaccine. “I tried online at a few hospitals in my pin code but didn’t succeed. But when I attempted another place, at Hope Clinic, South Delhi, it showed me an available slot.”

 

He added that he was not asked to pay. The Hindu verified his appointment form, “When I tried for a friend, I couldn’t get another,” he said.

So far, Delhi, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have said that they have ordered batches of Covaxin and Covishield. Close to 20 States have said they will be offering the vaccine free to their residents.

Also read | Covaxin offers protection against double mutant variant found in India: study

Though vaccines for those below 45 can only be availed at private COVID-19 centres on payment, States and Union Territories can decide to vaccinate those below 45 from their quotas negotiated with companies by setting minimum age eligibility criteria.

Only 1.8 million doses were administered on Wednesday, a far cry from the 4.5 million peak on April 5. India has so far administered at least 145 million doses, and less than 10% of the country has been fully vaccinated.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 11:22:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-vaccine-registration-for-those-above-18-begins-amid-glitches/article34428071.ece

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