The COVID-19 vaccination drive for people above 60 years and those aged 45 and above with comorbidities began in Delhi on Monday with many complaining of issues faced during online registration for the jabs.
While many people who queued up at the hospitals expressed "confidence", others said they were "nervous" while waiting to receive the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
In the second phase of coronavirus vaccination drive, people aged 60 years and above and those in the age group 45-59 years and having comorbidities will receive the vaccine.
At several places, people had started gathering at the facilities at 9 AM although booking for the first dose slot on the CO-WIN portal was scheduled to start at 12 noon on Monday. Officials had on Sunday said from Tuesday onwards, the booking will be open from 9 AM to 3 PM.
"I am perfectly confident about the vaccine. After all, the PM also took it today. However, getting registered is a problem. I tried the CO-WIN portal at home but it was not working, and now the staff at the hospital is insisting that we need to be registered," said retired Air India employee Rajesh Kumar Chandhock (64) at Poornima Sethi Multi Speciality hospital at Kalkaji.
Dr S Dinakar, medical officer in-charge of the hospital, said a lot of people reached around 9:30 AM but they had not registered online. "We do not have on the spot registration yet. We are trying to make that available too, but at the moment we are prioritising people who have booked slots through online registration, and avoid overcrowding at the hospital.
"We will attend to people with booked slots between 9 AM to 3 PM, and then if we have vaccines left, we will open for everyone. We don't want to say no to anyone," he said.
A sanitation worker from Okhla Ramveer (50), who had undergone surgeries for appendix and hernia, said he felt nervous but vaccine was necessary to get rid of coronavirus.
"I am a little nervous about getting vaccinated, but what can we do? This needs to be done," said Ramveer who reached the hospital hoping to be guided by the staff as he had no idea of registration required for vaccination.
The Indraprastha Apollo hospital was relatively more crowded with two queues at the billing counters and a full waiting area with people waiting to be administered the vaccine at 2 PM.
Sources at the hospital said they are prioritising people with registrations over walk-ins. The hospital saw nearly 50 walk-ins in the morning. "We will take walk-ins between 3-5 PM," the source said. The hospital has availability of 300 vaccines per day, the source added.
In Delhi, vaccine is being provided at 192 hospitals, including 136 private ones where eligible people can get the shot by paying Rs 250 per dose. At the remaining 56 government hospitals, the vaccine is being administered free of cost.
Issues in online registration was a common complaint from the people. Prasoon Narain Agarwal (70) said he tried registering through the CO-WIN portal, but did not receive any intimation about the location of the hospital.
"That is why I was forced to come here physically because this is the nearest hospital. I have been standing in queue for about an hour but haven't been able to figure out what to do," said the Jasola-based businessman.
Arun Kumar Gupta (66), a retired bank manger, said he waited for almost three hours to get the vaccine. "A policeman came to us and took our numbers. We kept waiting for our turn. I received the vaccine around 11.45 AM. I was never tested for COVID-19 and I am not scared for the vaccine," Gupta said at Rajeev Gandhi Super Speciality hospital.
Retired Delhi government employee Inderpal (68), a resident of Jagatpuri, claimed he was the first senior citizen at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital to receive the vaccine on the first day and felt fine after the jab.
"My son registered my name online. I came here today morning and showed them the registration paper. There was some technical issue with the portal. I received the vaccine around 11.15 am. I have not felt any side affects till now," he said.
Hospital officials said 93 people had registered for the vaccine. Dr Chhavi Gupta, media spokesperson of Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, said Covishield was being administered to the people.
"For registration, we asked for their Aadhaar card and contact number. We have 100 vaccines which have been divided in to 50:50 ratio. The 50 vaccines will be given to the health and front line workers. The rest 50 will be for the senior citizens," she said.
The senior citizens were being enquired about any disease that they may have, including blood pressure and diabetes prior to getting vaccinated, she said.
The registered persons were being administered the first dose after which they were asked to wait for 30 minutes for observation. Each vaccinated person is being given a certificate and provided phone number to be contacted for any emergency help after getting the first dose, she added.