Vaccination for citizens aged between 18 and 44 years in Telangana started on Wednesday, and those who managed to get their first shot against COVID-19 were indeed lucky as the slots vanished in under 15 minutes. The inoculation drive for this age group is permitted only at Private COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (PCVCs). Managements of a few private hospitals were baffled at how fast the slots filled up. "The slots were booked in a few minutes after opening it up on CoWin. We don’t know how that happened," said the head of a corporate hospital in Hyderabad.
Others who are eagerly waiting to get vaccinated were stuck to laptops or phone handsets, hoping to swiftly book a slot upon finding one for the better part of the day.
However, despite waiting for several hours, their efforts went in vain. Meanwhile, a few corporate hospitals managements said that they were facing technical issues in releasing slots on the website. Apart from PCVCs, people above 45 years have an option to receive second dose at Government COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (GCVC).
Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao said they have 6.18 lakh doses of Covishield, and another 3.35 lakh are expected in the first week of June. However, he said there are no beneficiaries after time interval between both doses of Covishield was increased to 12-16 weeks.
In case of Covaxin, the State has 2.5 lakh doses and another 2.5 lakh are expected to arrive next week. Around 3 lakh people are due for second dose till end of May.
The senior official said that 7.75 lakh people in high-risk groups would be vaccinated during a special drive to be conducted from May 28 to 30. Those who are in regular contact with outsiders such as fruit and vegetable vendors, cab and auto drivers, barbers, and others are categorised as high-risk group.
Dr Srinivasa Rao has also stated that journalists are designated as frontline workers, and a vaccination drive for print and electronic journalists would be conducted from May 28.