Delhi government gets Covaxin stock for first time in three weeks, but only for second dose

Covaxin, however, will only be available as a second dose for now, as close to 1.5 lakh people who got the first dose will be eligible for the second dose within four weeks.

Thousands of vaccine slots for the second dose of Covaxin for those in the 18-44 category opened up on the Cowin platform Sunday evening as the Delhi government started getting its stock for the first time in June.

Covaxin, however, will only be available as a second dose for now, as close to 1.5 lakh people who got the first dose will be eligible for the second dose within four weeks. This rule will apply to government as well as private hospitals, an order passed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authoruty on Sunday said.

Government centres offering Covishield for the age group, meanwhile, are expected to open starting Tuesday as the stock will reach the city by Monday, officials said.

Vaccination for the 18-44 age group had come to a near standstill at government facilities in the city as stock had run out. Private hospitals, however, continued to vaccinate people since they can also buy vaccines directly from the manufacturers.

Anxiety over the second dose of Covaxin had been rising over the past week as many people had got the first dose of the vaccine on May 3, when the government started its vaccination process for the 18-44 category. They became eligible for a second dose on May 31 but getting a vaccination slot on Cowin proved to be an uphill task, with nearly all government centres remaining shut.

A total of 56.5 lakh people in the city have got at least one dose of the vaccine so far. Close to 13 lakh have got both doses.

While the city has Covishield doses to last 27 days for the 45+ category, Covaxin doses are available only for another day.

New Covid cases, meanwhile, continued to dip and 381 out of close to 77,000 people tested on Saturday were positive – a positivity rate of 0.5%.

This is the lowest the city’s positivity rate has been since March 9, when the city had recorded a positivity rate of 0.48% with 320 cases.

According to the bulletin, 34 people died in the last 24 hours.

Only 87 new admissions were seen in city hospitals on Saturday, down from over 1,800 at the peak of the wave in April end. Starting Monday, the city will move into the next phase of its unlock process after the recently subsided deadly wave, with markets and shopping malls re-opening on the basis of an odd-even system and Delhi Metro services resuming with 50% capacity.

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