No government facility in the national capital has the free-of-cost Covid vaccines, while paid vaccines for all at private facilities, at Rs 386.25, continue to be available over the next few days, though not in significant numbers.
This, when the government has been telling people to take the “precaution dose” or booster immediately as cases rise in China and elsewhere. At government facilities, the usual two doses are free for all, while boosters are free for those aged 60+.
Searches on the official enquiry and booking portal CoWIN showed no availability at all in North and North East Delhi, while there were some doses available at private centres in other areas of the city. For instance, Central Delhi had 13 slots available at private centres, East had five; South East was better at 29.
Besides CoWIN searches, a visit to LNJP Hospital, one of Delhi’s biggest government health facilities, revealed no booster availability.
While the usual two-dose vaccination has been taken by over 90 per cent of the eligible population so far, only about 20 per cent of the people in Delhi — and less than 30 per cent across India — have taken the booster as cases have ebbed over the past few months. Those aged 60+ can get the booster free at government facilities.
The Centre has underlined this general complacency among the people, and asked the states to run awareness drives.
Cases have not risen dramatically in India. The seven-day average stands at less than 200 as of today. But fears have been heightened as China is seeing what’s been termed the worst outbreak of coronavirus infections ever since the pandemic began around three years ago — cases estimated to be over 3 crore a day.