Kerala’s first drive-through vaccination centre a hit

4,000 slots for four days fully booked in capital city’s facility; people can undergo post-vaccination observation period in the vehicle itself

August 19, 2021 08:38 pm | Updated 09:05 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

COVID-19 vaccine being administered to a beneficiary on Thursday in the presence of Health Minister Veena George at the 24-hour drive in vaccination centre opened at Government College for Women in Thiruvananthapuram.S. Mahinsha

COVID-19 vaccine being administered to a beneficiary on Thursday in the presence of Health Minister Veena George at the 24-hour drive in vaccination centre opened at Government College for Women in Thiruvananthapuram.S. Mahinsha

The State’s first drive-through vaccination centre got off to a rousing start at the Government College for Women here on Thursday.

The round-the-clock facility that enables people to receive COVID-19 vaccine from their vehicles has found much acceptance. While all of the 500 vaccine doses allotted for the initial day were administered, 4,000 vaccination slots for the next four days were fully booked within 20 minutes of being opened on the CoWIN portal.

Arranged on the spacious college campus, the centre has separate counters for verification, vaccination, and observation. While spot registration is not available at the centre, people can choose time slots from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

District Collector Navjot Khosa said those who had registered online would receive the vaccine even after 5 p.m., thereby providing a degree of flexibility. Volunteers and health workers have been deployed to cater to such requirements.

Those arriving at the facility will not be required to step out of their vehicles. They can opt to undergo the 30-minute observation period after vaccination either in their vehicles or at the observation counter.

Official sources said the college, situated at the heart of the city, provided an advantage through its proximity to major hospitals. While a medical team has been stationed at the centre, ambulances have been kept on standby to transport those who develop allergic reaction to the Government Women and Children’s Hospital nearby. An oxygen war room is also functioning on the campus.

Dr. Khosa said the district administration had been focusing on innovative methods to boost vaccine coverage in Thiruvananthapuram. While it had managed to distribute the vaccine to large numbers through its mass vaccination drive at the Jimmy George indoor stadium in February, the drive-through facility would expedite the process. The centre is aimed at intensifying the vaccination drive during the Onam holidays.

Health Minister Veena George, who took stock of the arrangements at the centre, said the drive-through facility will be extended to other districts if found successful.

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