The Telangana government has allowed private hospitals that have been identified as private COVID-19 vaccination centres (PCVC) to also vaccinate those above 18 years of age. They have also been allowed to carry out vaccinations at workplaces. Private COVID-19 vaccination centres constitute private clinics, hospitals or any other health facilities that have been designated by the state government as a COVID-19 vaccination centre. This comes as good news for all those above 18 years who have been waiting for the Telangana government to extend the vaccination drive to those between 18 and 44 years of age. Despite the Union government announcing that vaccines would be available for those above 18 years from May 1, Telangana had decided to only continue to vaccinate those above 45 years.
Those who wish to organise vaccination drives at their workplaces, communities, institutions etc. will now be able to approach private vaccination centres for administering vaccines. The circular also mentions that the beneficiaries will have to register on CoWin app and all COVID-19 vaccination guidelines will have to be followed.
Though the Telangana government has opened up the possibility of those in the 18-44 years age group to get vaccinated, it will be possible only if private vaccination centres will be able to procure vaccines for administration. The beneficiaries will also have to book a slot on CoWin, which is a herculean task considering usually very few slots are only available. The beneficiaries will also have to pay the price decided by the private vaccination centres.
On May 25, after a gap of 10 days, the administration of vaccines for those needing their second dose also resumed in the state. The Health Department announced that those due for their second dose will be given the jab at government-run vaccination centres. Earlier, predominantly, only Covaxin was available and those who went to the government vaccination centres hoping to get the second dose of Covishield had to return disappointed. Long queues were reported at vaccination centres in various parts of the state. There was confusion among beneficiaries due to the lack of clarity in the information provided by the Health Department.
On May 15, the state had announced suspension of the vaccination drive in view of inadequate stocks. The state has been vaccinating only those who are due for their second dose from early this month. Officials had said that those in the age group of 18 to 44 years will have to wait until those above 45 years are fully vaccinated.