AhmedabadD: People in the age group of 18 to 45 queued up outside the inoculation centres in 10 districts of Gujarat, where the COVID-19 vaccination drive for this category began on Saturday.
The drive began in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Kutch, Mehsana, Bharuch and Gandhinagar districts, which are most affected most by the pandemic, officials said.
The drive was launched in limited number of districts as Gujarat has received only three lakh doses from the vaccine manufacturers as against the order of 2.5 crore doses placed by the state government, they said.Authorities ensured that social distancing is maintained as people in this age group started arriving at the centres in 10 districts for free vaccination.
A beneficiary at a centre in Ahmedabad said, “Vaccination is the only way to overcome coronavirus pandemic. I would like to appeal to the people to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest.”Confusion prevailed at some centres as people arrived in large numbers.
“This chaos is because of people and not the system. Considering the pandemic situation, people are eager to get themselves vaccinated. Vaccination is important to control the pandemic. People should not spread rumours and get vaccinated at the earliest,” another beneficiary said.
Only those people who had registered themselves on the CoWIN portal were allowed entry and given a token at the centre on the basis of SMS received by them specifying the date, place and time for vaccination, officials said.
Ahmedabad local authorities said they have set up 76 vaccination centres at government and private schools, community halls, temple premises, among othes, for the exercise.
Rajkot health officer Pankaj Rathod said the process to vaccinate people from the 18-45 age group started at 48 different points across the city’s 21 urban health centres.
“On the first day, around 10,000 beneficiaries have registered for the vaccination across 48 centres in Rajkot,” he said.In Vadodara, around 7,000 beneficiaries from this age group are likely to be vaccinated during the day, officials said.
According to officials, the state government is in touch with the two vaccine makers- Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India – to get more number of doses.Gujarat will get 11 lakh doses in May, they said.The drive will be rolled out in more number of districts as per the availability of doses, officials said.