Guwahati: The inoculation drive for the 18-44 age group was launched in Assam on Friday, after a week’s delay, with nearly 32,936 beneficiaries getting the first jab against Covid-19. Till Thursday, about 220 beneficiaries of the 18-44 age bracket had received their first dose in the state, said a health ministry statement.
Speaking to the media, health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said vaccines for the 18-44 age group have been allotted to around 244 vaccination centers across the state. “Pursuing vision of Hon PM Sri @narendramodi on vaccination for 18-44 age group, glad to share that #COVIDVaccination drive for this category also has started in Assam today across 244 centres,” Sarma tweeted on Friday.
At each Centre, the target was to inoculate 150 people per day.
“Friday saw 100 per cent vaccination in 244 CVCs. Altogether, 32,936 people have been vaccinated which is an overwhelming response from youths. It was a trial to know the response and we will expand the number of centres in the coming days,” immunization spokesperson and director of health services (family welfare) Munindra Nath Ngatey told media.
He said, as the first day was a “success”, the authorities are planning to increase the number of CVCs. The major concern, however, is that if the drive for 18+ continues as per the plan, the available 1.13 lakh doses for 18+ will get over in just three more days.
“Booking is full in all CVCs for tomorrow,” Ngatey said, adding that more Covishield vaccines will come tomorrow. He added that separate CVCs for Covishield vaccine will be created for vaccination of 18 plus.
Assam received one lakh more doses of Covishield vaccine on Friday for people of 45 years+.
“Our total vaccine availability is 3,82,670,” Sarma tweeted on Friday.
Due to a shortage of doses, the state health department was forced to limit the drive for the young beneficiaries earlier.
Despite the overwhelming response to the vaccination drive, many beneficiaries in the 45+ category are returning dejected from vaccination centres in different parts of the state.
“I went to take a vaccine (second dose) at Saderi SD, Bajali near Pathsala. The appointment was booked on May 6. However, upon arrival there, it was informed that no vaccine was available. They could not say with any certainty when vaccines will be available again. Many other people also went back despite having the appointment,” Kanika Talukdar, 53, of Pathsala told media.