COVID-19 | Vaccination drive for 36,000 beneficiaries kickstarts in Hyderabad

COVID-19 vaccination camp of Medicover Hospital at Hitex, Madhapur in Hyderabad, Telangana on June 6, 2021.   | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

The vaccination drive to administer COVID-19 vaccine to at least 36,000 beneficiaries in a single day at one venue in Hyderabad was kickstarted by a corporate hospital on June 6 morning. This is perhaps the largest drive by a private hospital in India. Only Covaxin is given to the people at cost of ₹1,400 including ₹140 for inoculation.

Around 24,000 were vaccinated by 11.15 a.m. Medicover group of Hospitals in association with Cyberabad Police and Society for Cyberabad Security Council (SCSC) held the drive scheduled to be held from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Three huge hangars at Hitex exhibition grounds, Madhapur, were used to accommodate 300 vaccination counters.

Except thick traffic leading to the venue, beneficiaries said that process inside the venue was smooth.

Hospital’s executive director Hari Krishna said that their aim is to give jab to a beneficiary in three minutes after stepping into a hangar. People are assigned one hour time slots to distribute the beneficiaries load over the 11 hours.

A beneficiary, Diksha Chaudhary, said that she received the jab within 5 minutes of stepping into the hangar.

Around 36,000 people had registered till June 5. More people were expected to participate. Around 45% of the 36,000 who had registered until June 5 evening were women at a young age.

The hospital management who have anticipated the registrations to be between 40,000 to 50,000 said that they have capacity to vaccinate 50,000 people in one day. They bought the doses.

Procedure & COVID-19 safety measures

The drive has gathered a lot of attention among people who circulated the hospital’s pamphlet in Whatsapp groups. People have also raised concerns about safety since thousands of people would gather.

Executive director of Medicover group of hospitals, Hari Krishna listed out the way they are ensuring safety measures, such as contact-free procedure, except when a nurse gives the jab.

After registering in CoWin, people have to register at the hospital’s link and pay ₹1,400. Or people can log into the website and register in CoWin.

After completing the registration, people received a vaccine pass which details the one-hour time slot on June 6 during which they will be vaccinated.

Upon reaching the venue, volunteers direct beneficiaries to the hangars. At entrance of the hangars, people are scanned for the QR code on their vaccination pass.

“If they are not able to scan the code, they can tell us their vaccination reference ID. There are 100 counters in each of the three hangars and 600 nurses on the whole. Our aim is to ensure a beneficiary receives vaccine doses in three minutes after stepping into a hangar,” said Dr. Hari Krishna, who added that they took permission from the State Health department to hold the drive.

Urban-centric first dose vaccination

People in rural districts of Telangana who are above 18 years have been waiting for several weeks to get the first dose of the vaccine.

Currently, only people above 45 years who are waiting for a second dose are allowed to take the jab at Government COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (GCVCs).

Besides them, the State government is holding special drives to vaccinate people in high-risk groups such as such as vegetable and fruit vendors, workers at grocery stores. People from 18-44 years in the high-risk group too are given the jab. Students set to go abroad are administered the vaccine free of cost.

So the only option for people above 18 years in the non-high-risk group waiting for the first dose is to opt Private CVCs (PCVCs).

However, the majority of the corporate hospitals or PCVCs which are offering the vaccines are located in and around Hyderabad-capital of the State.

Owing to the geographic location of the hospitals and of the vaccination drives, the immunisation by corporate hospitals has turned urban-centric in Telangana.

Mid-level and small scale private hospitals managements in rural districts of the State are struggling to find means of access to the vaccines manufacturing firms.

Only one or two private hospitals have opened slots for the age groups in a few rural districts.

Telangana's Director of Public Health Dr. G. Srinivasa Rao said that they will complete vaccinating high-rise groups in a week's time. "There after, we will give vaccines to people in non-high-risk groups" he said.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 6:56:35 PM |

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