NEW DELHI: After injecting shots against COVID-19 to over 3.6 lakh beneficiaries, authorities in Delhi are now set for the roll-out of the second phase of the inoculation drive on March 1.
In the second phase, people aged above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities will be vaccinated.
At Delhi government hospitals, doctors and other medical staff were upbeat about the second phase of the drive.
Over 13,000 beneficiaries had received anti-COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, a significant fall from the number of people who had got the shots a day before, according to data shared by officials.
More than 3.6 lakh beneficiaries have received the vaccine till Friday in Delhi since the start of the inoculation drive a month ago, with over 18,900 people receiving jabs on Thursday.
Sources in the Delhi government said preparations are in full swing for the next phase.
However, the number of vaccination centres and modalities with empanelled private hospitals are still being worked out.
While the vaccination will be free at government vaccination centres, a set charge with a cap of Rs 250 per dose could be taken by any of these empanelled private facilities, the officials said.
Under the second phase, eligible beneficiaries would be able to register themselves on the Co-WIN platform from Monday itself.
There will also be a walk-in provision for the beneficiaries to get themselves registered at the session sites.
Suresh Kunar, medical director of the Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital, said, "We are all set for the second phase to begin from Monday".
"People aged above 60, and those aged 45-59 with comorbidities will receive the shots now," he said.
R S Sharma, the chairman of the Empowered Group on COVID-19 vaccine Administration, earlier said the new version of the Co-WIN platform will be GPS-enabled and the beneficiaries will have the option to choose the inoculation session site both at the government and private facilities.
There will be volunteers to help those opting for walk-in registration with the process if they are not tech-savvy.
Co-WIN, a digital platform, was created for real-time monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine delivery.
People aged above 45 years will have to upload a medical certificate mentioning their comorbid conditions.
Under the nationwide mega vaccination drive launched on January 16, a total of 4,319 (53 per cent) health workers against a target of 8,117 were administered the shots at 81 centres across the city on day one.
The number of centres were gradually expanded to over 300 till date.
As per doctors, the second dose is to be given to a beneficiary after a gap of 28 days.
As per the data shared by the officials on Friday, over 3.6 lakh people have received vaccine shots in Delhi.
Out of the total tally, more than 1.46 lakh are healthcare workers and over 2.2 lakh are frontline workers.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has identified private hospitals that will be roped in for the immunisation drive, sources said.
Private hospitals can charge up to Rs 250 per dose of COVID-19 vaccine, official sources said.
"So far 59 private hospitals have been identified and the number will be increased as per requirement," said a source associated with the Delhi government's COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
Currently, priority group people including health workers and frontline workers are being administered the vaccine at 212 government and private health centres in Delhi.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be given free of cost at government hospitals, while people will need to pay for it at private facilities.
"Rs 250 will be the ceiling -- Rs 150 cost of vaccine plus Rs 100 service charge. This arrangement will remain effective till further orders," a source said.
The Union Health Ministry on Friday had said beneficiaries would be able to self-register in advance by downloading the Co-WIN 2.
0 portal and through other IT applications such as Aarogya Setu, which will show the government and private hospitals serving as COVID-19 vaccination centres (CVCs) with date and time of the available schedules.
In January, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that his government would provide coronavirus vaccine free to the people of the national capital if the Centre fails to do so.
He had said that he appealed to the Centre for ensuring free vaccination in the country since there are many people who may not afford the life-saving shot.
Sources said, however, no decision has been taken in this regard so far.