Delhi government to administer Covaxin only to second-dose beneficiaries in 18-44 age group
Covaxin in Delhi will be administered only to those in the 18-44 age group who need the second dose, the Delhi government said in a statement on Sunday.
Delhi government has instructed all private hospitals and nursing homes functioning as Covid vaccination centres for Covaxin to ensure that the doses are used only to vaccinate people in the 18-44 age group, who are eligible for receiving the second dose during June.
"DDMA hereby directs that all private hospitals and nursing homes functioning as COVID Vaccination Centres for Covaxin shall ensure that Covaxin shall be used for vaccination to only those people (of age group 18-44 years) who are eligible for receiving second dose of vaccination during the month of June, 2021 or till further orders," the order reads.
Earlier this week, the Delhi High Court told the Arvind Kejriwal government to work out a strategy for administering Covaxin since the national capital was unable to ensure people get both doses of Covaxin within the ideal timeframe.
It is already time for people in the 18-44 age group, who have taken the first dose of Covaxin in May, to take the second dose. The 2nd dose of Covaxin is to be taken within four weeks.
Petitioners, residents of Delhi, moved the high court saying that people have to travel to nearby cities to get their second doses as the Capital has exhausted its stock of vaccines.
The Delhi government told the court that Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of the vaccine, had promised five lakh doses of Covaxin in May, but only supplied 1.5 lakh doses. The matter will be heard today.
AAP leader and Delhi MLA Atishi on Sunday said it has been two weeks since Delhi ran out of its stock of both Covishield and Covaxin for the 18 to 44 age group. Fresh supply from the Centre will come on June 10.
MLA Atishi said people in this age group have started going to neighbouring cities, some 100 km away, to try to get a jab. "It is becoming a serious issue as a lot of people in the 18-44 group are nearing their date for the second dose. We are also hearing reports that people are travelling 100-200 km to Meerut and Bulandshahr to get their shots because there are no vaccines in Delhi," Atishi told news agency PTI.
Shortage of vaccines has been a concern for Delhi government since the inoculation programme began. It started vaccinating people in the 18-44 age group from May 1. As of now, all 368 government centres administering both Covaxin and Covishield to people in this category have been temporarily closed for around two weeks now.
Amid supply crunch, Delhi government has floated a global tender to procure 10 million doses of Covid vaccines.
A total of 57,990 vaccine doses were administered on Sunday in Delhi, including 42,742 first doses and 15,248 second doses, government data shows.