COVID-19: Chaotic start for vaccination for 18-44 age group in Noida; over 2,600 jabs on day 1

Noida (Uttar Pradesh): Over 2,600 people between 18-44 years got vaccinated for COVID-19 in Gautam Buddh Nagar on Monday, as the inoculation for the age category officially began in the western Uttar Pradesh district, officials said.

The day began on a chaotic note for several people with many of them facing difficulty in getting their jabs due to confusion over pre-registration that also led to crowding is some of the 21 government inoculation centres spread across Noida and Greater Noida.

Some residents claimed they returned home after seeing "huge crowds" at the vaccination centres, with some videos which surfaced on social media corroborating their claims.

According to official figures of the health department, 2,603 people in the age group of 18-44 years got their first dose of vaccine on Monday.

Total 4,621 people got vaccinated in Gautam Buddh Nagar during the day. Of these, 256 above 60 years got their first dose and 594 their second dose.

In the 45-59 years age group, 577 people got their first dose and 550 their second dose, while the rest of the jabs were given to health care workers and others, the data showed.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Deepak Ohri urged residents to book their vaccine slots through the CoWin portal or the Aarogya Setu app and not go to centres which are not allotted to them.

His appeal came after chaotic scenes were witnessed at vaccination centres in the morning leading to the deployment of police to regulate the crowd, while confusion continued at some places later in the day, too.

“In wake of the pandemic, vaccination for 18-44 age group people has been started in Gautam Buddh Nagar district. Residents can register on the CoWin portal or the Aarogya Setu app, book a slot and reach the designated hospital or health centre to get vaccinated,” Ohri said in a statement.

“Vaccination would not be done for anyone at any other hospital other than that allotted one. Please do not go to any hospital or health centre until unless registered and slot booked to avoid inconvenience,” the senior doctor urged.

A woman from Sarfabad village in Noida said she and her husband had to return without vaccination as they thought that the process was a walk-in drive like it was for the elderly people.

“I had no clue about the registration process. It was only after reaching at the centre that I was told about it. I got to know that a smart phone or computer is needed for registration. My family doesn't have either,” the woman, who works as a domestic help in the city, claimed.

Hesitant to share her name, the 30-something woman said she would request the family for whom she works to get her vaccine registration done.

The vaccination drive is free at government centres while private hospitals are charging Rs 900 for a dose, even as none of the centres in the district showed availability of slots on the official portals for the next few coming days.