People in the 18-44 age group living in rural districts of Telangana are not able to get COVID-19 vaccine shots despite being eligible. Currently, they are not offered the jab at Government COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (GCVC). And majority of the corporate hospitals which are offering the vaccination are located in and around Hyderabad. Only one or two private hospitals have opened slots for the age group in a few rural districts.
Travelling in the pandemic when the lockdown is imposed for most part of the day makes it difficult for the people in rural areas to travel to and fro the city for the vaccination. Currently, only people above 45 years who are waiting for second dose are allowed to take the jab at GCVCs. Besides them, people in 18-44 years who are in high risk group, such as vegetable and fruit vendors, are offered the jab during special drive held by the State government. People in the 18-44 age group falling in non-high-risk group are not eligible for this drive.
Officials from the State Health department said that people in this age group are not offered vaccines at GCVCs. “When I enquired, I was told that 18-44 age group in non-high-risk group are not eligible for the vaccination at Primary Health Centres(PHC). And private hospitals in Vikarabad are not offering the vaccines to this age group,” said 32-year-old Chamala Rajesh Reddy who lives in Vikarabad.
Mohammed Shazad from Mall Village, Chinthapalli mandal located in border of Nalgonda and Rangareddy, too said that it is not offered at government health centres. “Currently, only option is to wait for the GCVCs to offer vaccination for people in 18-44 age group too,” said Mr Shazad.
There are slim chances for middle and small private hospitals to offer the vaccines as getting access to the companies manufacturing the vaccine doses and procuring it is a challenge too them. In fact, a few of the major corporate hospitals managements in Hyderabad too are still trying to figure out how to procure the doses.
Only a few private hospitals are offering COVID-19 vaccination for 18-44 age group in around four rural districts of Telangana. In Medak, two hospitals are extending the service. Seven more hospitals in the district were accorded the permission. Medicover Hospitals is one of the hospitals which is offering the vaccines at its branches in Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Sangareddy.
Executive Director of the hospital Hari Krishna said that they are trying to tie up with hospitals in other districts to extend the vaccination for people in rural districts. They are planning to procure more doses. The hospital’s management has developed an internal application which helps in booking slots after a potential beneficiary registers in CoWin.
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