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Fully ready to receive, store, give vaccine to 51 lakh priority category persons in Delhi: Kejriwal

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New Delhi, Dec 24: The Delhi government is fully prepared to receive, store and administer COVID-19 vaccine to 51 lakh priority category persons in the city in the first phase of vaccination, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday. He said his government is all set to start the vaccination drive as soon as it gets the vaccine from the Centre, and registration is underway for people in three priority categories who will receive it first.

Arvind Kejriwal

Asked about the charges for the vaccine, and if it will be free of cost, a senior official in the Chief Minister's Office said the government has not taken any decision in this regard so far.

"There are a total of 51 lakh priority category persons in Delhi -- three lakh health workers, six lakh frontline workers, and 42 lakh of those aged above 50 and those below 50 but having co-morbidities," the chief minister said at a virtual press briefing. Each person will be given two doses, and a total of 1.02 crore doses will be required in the first phase of vaccination in Delhi, he said.

Currently, there is storage capacity for 74 lakh doses, and it will be scaled up to 1.15 crore within a week, Kejriwal said. Each person in priority categories is being registered to receive the vaccine. They will be informed through SMS and other means whenever their turn for vaccination arrives, the chief minister said. "The vaccine will be administered to only those people whose registration has been done," he added.

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The government has made proper arrangements in case side-effects, if any, are noticed after administering the vaccine, the chief minister. The necessary staff, officials and health workers have been identified and trained for the vaccination drive. Each vaccination team will have five members, he added.

The sites where vaccination will be carried out are also being readied, Kejriwal said. The COVID-19 situation in Delhi has improved significantly in the past few days, but all eyes are set on when the vaccine will become available and people will get rid of the virus, he added.

"Everyone is eyeing the vaccine now. The Delhi government has made all arrangements, and we are fully prepared to receive the vaccine from the central government, store it, and administer it to priority category persons," Kejriwal said. Earlier in the day, the chief minister chaired a meeting on the roll-out and administering of the vaccine in Delhi. A presentation on the preparedness for the vaccination drive was given by officials of the Health department.

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