Over two lakh adolescents in the age group of 15-18 have been administered the first dose of vaccine against COVID-19 in the national capital, with the northeast district vaccinating the highest number of beneficiaries. According to official data, there are 10.14 lakh beneficiaries in the 15-18 age group in Delhi.
The inoculation exercise commenced on January 3 with 20,998 people getting jabbed. Northeast Delhi had recorded the highest figures on the first day and the trend has continued in the subsequent days. Of the over 33,000 beneficiaries vaccinated on the second day of the exercise, 6,237 were from the northeast district alone.
Similarly, on January 5, 6,848 of the total 36,301 adolescents inoculated were from the northeast district. As many as 55,979 people were vaccinated in the national capital on January 6, with northeast Delhi again taking the lead by vaccinating 8,199 beneficiaries. Another 8,012 people in the district were jabbed on Friday.
Geetika Sharma, northeast district magistrate, said it was possible due to good planning by the district immunisation officer. "We had meetings with teachers, heads of schools and deputy directors of education so that all authorities concerned were kept in the loop... I had written to deputy directors of education requesting them to share the list of students in the target age group after we got directions from the health department," she said.
After the CBSE exams commenced, directions were issued to close vaccination centres in schools. "Now, vaccination is primarily being done for the respective school students," she pointed out. Sharma said unlike the other age groups, where people were hesitant to come out for the second dose, the attitude of the adolescent population towards vaccination has thrown a pleasant surprise.
"According to the numbers shared by the education department, there are 1,20,000 beneficiaries in the northeast district. Of these, 86,000 students are in government schools and 11,000 in private schools. The rest are out of school children. Reaching out to them will be a challenge," she said. According to a government official, the response has been good and there is awareness among people.
"We have made sufficient arrangements for the beneficiaries to get inoculated. People from outside are coming here to get vaccinated. We aim to complete the exercise soon," he said. Prior to launching the initiative, Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said three lakh people can be inoculated on a daily basis and this capacity can be increased if necessary. He said the Delhi government can complete the exercise in seven to 10 days.
-With PTI Inputs