How many Indian adults will manage to get the Covid-19 vaccine on May 1?
Health Minister is happy registrations happened, sms went out, but states have already alerted that they may not have enough stocks to start vaccination on May 1
Supreme Court Justice DY Chandrachud, has asked, “Why can’t the Centre follow national immunisation program policy with respect to Covid vaccines?” The three-judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat have also raised questions regarding the procurement of the vaccines, and have asked why the central government cannot buy 100% of the requirement, during the landmark hearing of the Apex Court on Friday. The mass vaccination drive rolls out on May 1. However, many who have tried to register on Cowin, the designated portal, have reported delays, crashes, and the simple fact that they have not found any available slots.
However, Dr Harshvardhan, the Union Health Minister is “pleased to note” that the “world-class Co-WIN platform ensured smooth rollout of beneficiary registration for Phase 3 of world’s #LargestVaccineDrive”. He shared that “in just first 3 hours: 80L+ people registered, 1.45 cr SMS successfully delivered, 38.3 cr API hits recorded”.
But how many of the above will actually translate into vaccines administered on May 1, and onwards, is yet to be seen. Some states, including the Bharatiya Janata Party governed Madhya Pradesh have already announced that the vaccination will not begin from May 1. Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan has said that he knows that “production also has a limit” and that as the state will begin vaccinating all those above 18 once “production takes place and we get the vaccine”. He also said that the vaccinations will be free of cost in Madhya Pradesh.
According to the CoWin portal, online registration and appointment is now open for people in the 18 to 44 age group, and walk-in registration and appointment facility is not available for the 18-44 age group. However the online appointment can be taken only if slots are made available by private vaccinations centers as well as the state government centres.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has also appealed that citizens do not queue up at vaccination centres and wait for the government announcement that the vaccinations have begun. According to Arvind Kejriwal Delhi has “not yet received the vaccines from the companies.” Kejriwal has said that around “three lakh COVISHIELD vaccines are to be delivered by tomorrow or the day after,” and then more doses will arrive later. He said, “We have not yet received the vaccine, and are in continuous touch with the companies and hope the vaccines will be delivered in a day or two. We’ve been assured of this.” The Delhi government has asked for 67 lakh doses each of COVISHIELD and COVAXIN to be delivered within three months. “We will vaccinate every citizen in Delhi within three months; I request everyone not to rush,” said Kejriwal.
However, not everyone has a smartphone or the technical knowledge on how to register online, and a large number of people who need the vaccine are likely to be left out. According to Indian Express, so far, there have been 14.80 crore registrations on Co-WIN, of which only 2.91 crore were made online; a bulk of them — 9.33 crore — walked in at centres and registered themselves before vaccination. As many as 2.55 crore registrations are of healthcare and frontline workers, who were prioritised for vaccination beginning January 16 and February 1, respectively. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope told the media that the state would require around 40 lakh vaccines a week, and at the moment the state’s vaccine stock is around 7 lakhs.
The Union Government, meanwhile, has stated that it has “so far provided nearly 16.33 crore vaccine doses (16,33,85,030) to States/UTs Free of Cost” and over “1 crore COVID Vaccine doses (1,00,28,527) are still available with the States/UTs to be administered.” It has added that around “20 lakh (19,81,110) vaccine doses will be received in addition by the States/UTs within the next 3 days.
Courtesy : Sabrang