AMRI Hospitals will employ additional staff to handle the additional load. It plans to vaccinate around 500 at each of its three units. Around 80% of the recipients could be 45 plus.
“This is indeed a great move and will go a long way in checking the transmission of Covid. The 45-plus age group comprises the working population. They travel in public transport, which makes them susceptible to the virus. If we can protect this group, Covid will be restricted. We are ready to further step up the number of recipients since the government has said that there will be no dearth in the supply of vaccines,” said AMRI CEO Rupak Barua.
RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (RTIICS) has planned to use one of its vaccination centres, which is now being used for the second dose of health workers, for the 45-plus recipients. “While there will be a dedicated counter for the new group, we expect a huge rush initially, like what had happened when the 60-plus group was inducted. So, in case one counter is not enough, we will divert some of the recipients to the 60-plus window that is now less crowded,” said RTIICS zonal head R Venkatesh.
Medica Superspecialty Hospital is looking at ‘streamlining’ its vaccination process to handle the imminent rush. “There will be a scamper and it will be a challenge. We might have to involve more people to get things moving smoothly. But since the new group is a younger one, it should be faster and easier to handle than the 60-plus group. Depending on the rush, we might have to allocate extra space,” said chairperson Alok Roy.
Peerless Hospital, too, expects a huge rush during the first fortnight of April. It has planned an additional space for the new recipients. “With the new entrants, vaccination counters will again be clogged. The 45-plus group is younger and mobile, unlike the senior citizens and they will try and get the jab as early as possible. Since this is a working group, they will be keen to get the vaccine sooner rather than later,” said Peerless Hospital CEO Sudipta Mitra.
Doctors said this was a major step towards wiping out Covid and the focus should now be on vaccinating as many as possible within the quickest possible time. “So far, we have covered a miniscule part of the population. But now, the younger population will be covered. The aim should be to vaccinate them quickly. The government should also think about making the vaccine freely available at a price so that it can be taken everywhere rather than just a handful of hospitals,” said CMRI Hospital director of pulmonology, Raja Dhar.