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Telangana: Vaccination resumes for 45+ age group; on slot-basis only

Hyderabad: After a two days gap, the Telangana government on Monday said that the COVID-19 vaccination for the above 45 age group will resume in all government hospitals.

Director of public health, Dr G Srinivasa Rao said that the COVID-19 vaccine will only be administered to those who have booked slots online.

Walk-in vaccinations are not allowed, he clarified.

He said two hundred people will be vaccinated at each center in GHMC, elsewhere a hundred people would be vaccinated at each center in the state.

On Friday, the government suspended the vaccination drive for two days i.e., May 1 and May 2 as it reviewed its vaccine stock.

There have been several hiccups in the vaccination campaign in the state over the past week, or at the same time the government is running out of stock, saying the center is not getting enough vaccines in the state.

This is the second time that Telangana has been forced to stop vaccination due to a shortage of vaccines. Earlier, the programme was put on hold for a day on April 18.

Even the vaccination campaign for people aged 18 and 44 was scheduled to start on May 1, in all vaccination centers of Telangana. But on the CoWIN/Aarogya Setu portal on Friday had the disclaimer that only those aged above 45 can book a slot.

Meanwhile, the health officials said due to vaccine shortage the rollout of the third phase of vaccination may be delayed further.

The state has a population of 1.72 crore in the 18-44 age group and needs about 3.6 crore doses of the vaccine to complete the program. Officials say Telangana has the capacity to vaccinate one million people a day, but a lack of adequate supply from the center is an obstacle to vaccinations.

The Telangana government has already announced free vaccinations for all. However, there is no clear explanation yet as to how the state plans to achieve this.

On April 30, the authorities administered 1,65,069 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine including 27,765 second doses. With this, the state has so far given 48,82,830 doses to healthcare workers, frontline workers and priority age groups of above 45 years.