Rather than a 24×7 facility, this will help hospitals space out recipients and avoid crowding and long queues that have slowed down the process, the AHEI said. From Monday, vaccination is likely to commence at 9am instead of 10am.
“We will propose a uniform window — like 9am to 6pm for all city hospitals. This will help us call recipients at different slots since they are not being able to book slots on the website. We are ready to extend the closing time beyond 6pm, but 24×7 vaccination may not help elderly recipients,” said AHEI president Rupak Barua.
While Fortis Hospital has started 24×7 vaccination last week, Medica Superspecialty Hospital will start on Monday.
“The idea is to let recipients know they can walk in any time. Since the Co-Win portal is slow, it’s taking a long time to register senior citizens who are not comfortable with the online process. Now, they can visiting at their own convenience, even if it’s late in the evening or in the middle of the night. They can now be accompanied by their kin who are busy during the normal working hours,” said Medica chairperson Alok Roy.
Others, like Peerless Hospital, however, will not have 24×7 service. “We don’t have the resources for that. But we are ready to extend the vaccination hours,” said CEO Sudipta Mitra.
RTIICS, too, has ruled out round-the-clock vaccination.
“We will be providing vaccination from 8am to 6pm from Monday and will optimally utilize our resources to provide seamless service. A 24×7 service right now is challenging as it entails heavy deployment of staff, nurses and medical officers, which would be very difficult to organize at a very busy hospital,” said R Venkatesh, regional head – east, Narayana Health.
An overwhelming response from senior citizens and those above 45 with co-morbidities has forced many hospitals to extend the vaccination timings. Till Saturday, the usual timing was 9am to 5pm. On Saturday, the health department officials indicated an extension in the schedule from 8am to 6pm.