Thiruvananthapuram: Many people above 45 years old, who have received the first dose of the COVID vaccine in the second vaccination drive, are reportedly not getting a slot on the Co-WIN portal for the second dose in Kerala.
Despite queuing up for a long time on the portal for the second shot, Keralites are said to have been left without a slot on Co-WIN, The News Minute reports.
The Centre extended the age limit to make people above 18-year-old eligible for a vaccine shot in the third phase of the vaccination drive. The government's 'Liberalised and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy' of Covid-19 Vaccination will begin from May 1.
Since the Kerala government has also stopped the spot registrations on April 23, many people above 45, who have received their first dose of Covid vaccine in the second vaccination drive are not able to book an appointment for the second dose of vaccine through the Co-WIN portal.
When vaccination drive for senior citizens and people with co-morbidities in the age group of 45-59 years was started on March 1 via the Co-WIN portal, it had given people the option for spot registration. However, the situation turned worse when thousands of people rushed to vaccination centres for spot registration, creating a huge rush and breach of COVID-19 protocol, and eventually, the government had to close the spot registration option on April 23.
Meanwhile, once Kerala started reporting between 25,000 and 35,000 COVID-19 cases every day, and reports of vaccine shortage were reported, many people rushed to the vaccine centres, without knowing that the state government stopped the option on April 23.
"There was less awareness about the Co-WIN portal registration in Kerala. We never saw any interactive video on any of the news channels or any of the press conferences from the CM or Health Minister. The only information about Co-WIN was the pre-recorded message that was played as the caller tone," said a resident in the Thiruvananthapuram, on condition of anonymity, as reported by The News Minute.
Also, Some vaccine centres reportedly turned away people without citing any reason while others claimed no vaccine availability after allotting them slots via the Co-WIN portal.
According to the Kerala government's COVID-19 dashboard, as of April 28 (Wednesday), 71,07,072 (71 lakh) vaccination doses have been administered in the state. While 59,47,415 (59 lakh) people have received the first dose so far, 11,59,657 (11 lakh) have been given the second dose.
However, amid the vaccine shortage, CM Pinarayi Vijayan, on Wednesday, said the state will purchase one crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines — 70 lakh doses of Covishield and 30 lakh doses Covaxin — in the next three months, for Rs 483 crore. "Priority will be for the second dose," he added.