With a majority of Capital’s adult and teenage population receiving their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination , the Delhi government on Friday shut more than half its vaccination centres that were operational in schools and other non-health facilities. The services of around 1,900 contractual vaccinators, nurses and data entry operators were also terminated starting Friday.
According to the government’s Co-WIN dashboard, Delhi on Friday conducted its vaccination drive only from 488 centres, down from 1,489 a week ago. Of them, 401 were government-run, while the remaining 87 were private centres. Data from the government also shows that on April 1, only 11,378 vaccine doses were administered in Delhi, as against a daily average of 28,000 doses administered in early March.
Senior officials from the health department said the number of vaccination centres was reduced as the government had decided to do away with centres being run from government schools and other non-health facilities, as schools on Friday started the new academic session at full strength and completely in the offline mode.
“The Covid vaccination centres are fewer in number because of the closure of centres in schools and non-health facilities on account of schools reopening from Friday. The centres were particularly fewer on Friday because that is the day when routine immunisation happens in government dispensaries; so Covid vaccinations do not happen in many dispensaries,” said a senior health department official, asking not to be named.
Since March 28, contractual vaccinators and nurses have been sitting on a protest outside the Delhi secretariat asking that the order be taken back and they be reinstated.
“We are moving the court against the decision. We have only started the vaccinations for the 12-15 age category. Booster doses are also pending,” said a contractual nurse.