More than 12,700 beneficiaries received COVID-19 vaccine shots in Delhi on Tuesday in the fourth week of the inoculation drive, the highest single-day turnout by numbers till date, officials said. The turnout was over 70 per cent, a marked improvement from the figures a day before -- 9,740 (54 per cent turnout).
Besides healthcare workers, frontline workers, who include, police, civil and defence staff, and DJB and electricity department employees, among others, are also getting jabs since the last couple of days. Also, the number of scheduled days, from initially being four days -- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday -- have now been extended to six days a week, Monday-Saturday.
After a sluggish start, since the exercise was kicked off on January 16, the inoculation drive picked up pace in the past few days. The targeted number for vaccination on February 9 was 15,100, officials said.
"Today, 12,717 people were administered coronavirus vaccine, and AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) was reported in seven persons. This is the highest number (of people vaccinated) achieved in a day so far," a senior official of the Delhi Health Department said. The number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 till date in Delhi, majority of them being healthcare workers, had crossed the one lakh-mark a few days ago.
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. On the second scheduled day, the figures had stood at 3,598 (44 per cent of the target). The sharp fall had come after one severe and 50 minor adverse effect cases were reported, on the opening day of the vaccination drive.
The count on the third schedule day was much higher at 4,936 (48 per cent). Various reasons were being attributed to the low turnout in the initial days, including some technical issues and apprehensions related to adverse events.
However, the government has maintained that no case of serious or severe AEFI reported till date is attributable to vaccination. Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield is being administered at majority of the centres while Bharat Biotech-made Covaxin doses are being given at the remaining facilities.
The Delhi government had taken measures like counselling and formal phone calls to raise the percentage of healthcare workers turning up for being administered COVID-19 vaccine. The district-wise distribution of total seven AEFI cases on Monday was -- Central Delhi (1), North Delhi (2), South Delhi (4), according to the data shared by authorities.
With low turnout of healthcare workers on the first two days of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, had recently said the exercise is voluntary and a matter of "personal decision" for people whether to get a shot or not, but all efforts are being made to boost their confidence. He had reiterated that this is a voluntary exercise and people are making their own decisions, as it's the initial phase.