Some people who had managed to get slots were later told by the hospital that it has no stock of vaccines.

A medic prepares to administer a dose of COVID-19 vaccinePTI
Coronavirus Vaccination Saturday, May 01, 2021 - 16:21

Nishchay Chaturvedi, a Bengaluru based entrepreneur, walked into Apollo Hospital Bannerghatta on May 1, the first day of the third phase of India’s vaccination drive against COVID-19. The 41-year-old had registered through the CoWIN app a couple of days ago and on Saturday morning, was able to get a slot for vaccination the same day.

“I got the 11 am to 1 pm slot and reached the hospital at 10.30 am. I was seventh in queue by the time I got inside. By 11 am, there were about 100 people at the location, most under 45. There were a few senior citizens too,” he told TNM. Nishchay got the first dose of Covishield and said that it was priced at Rs 850.

However, Nishchay’s case was an exception - most people in Bengaluru had the opposite experience where they didn’t get slots for vaccination. A number of people replied to our query on Twitter. While most from Bengaluru, save some, said that they got no slots, many from Tamil Nadu and Chennai said that while they had got slots, these were auto-cancelled. Many from Gujarat though reported that they were able to get vaccinated on Saturday.

This comes even as several states said that they will not be able to start phase 3 of the COVID-19 vaccination drive – that targets all above 18 years of age – on May 1 as they do not have enough stock of vaccines. Only six states said they would start their vaccination drives on Saturday – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh – and these would also reportedly be ‘token’ drives, limited to a few districts.

In Bengaluru, most people said that they didn’t get slots for vaccination. A couple of them, however, reported that there were a few slots available at ESI Hospital in Indiranagar and Shanthinagar, but these got filled up quite quickly.

However, Harsh, a 24-year-old who went to Shanthinagar UPHC after getting a slot for vaccination, told TNM that the personnel there said they were not vaccinating those below 45 years of age.

When asked why the CoWIN portal showed availability of vaccines for those above 18, Harsh said that a woman working at the UPHC told him and some others who had booked slots that it was a glitch in the platform and that she had informed the same to the supervisor.

Nitika, a 28-year-old, said that she saw slots available in HSR Layout at Apollo clinic as well as ESI Hospital in Indiranagar, but they were sold out soon. She told TNM that she did not see any slots available at Electronic City, which is more accessible to her.

Two people – Vetriventhan and Sowmya - @vetrijedi and @sowmyarao_ respectively on Twitter – told TNM that they were able to book a slot for vaccination at Shanthinagar UPHC. Two others said that they had also got slots there as well.

In some other places, including many in Tamil Nadu, people reported that while they got vaccination slots initially, these were auto-cancelled on May 1. One person said that though he got a slot in Apollo Seshadripuram, in Bengaluru, he was told to come back on Monday as the hospital is out of stock for vaccines.

In Gujarat, several people reported having got their first shots, as well as slots for vaccination.

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