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Vaccination for 18-44 age group begins at five centres in Meghalaya

Health officials said a total of 1,907 persons were inoculated in five centres - Shillong Civil hospital, Nazareth hospital, Bethany hospital, MIMHANS and Rynjah State Dispensary were the five centres for the 18-44 age group.

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Shillong: With Meghalaya rolling out the vaccination for those in the 18-44 years category on Friday, especially for state capital Shillong, which is the most pandemic-hit, several beneficiaries went ahead to get their first shot against Covid-19, even as many had to return without getting inoculated due to issues relating to the online registration.

Health officials said a total of 1,907 persons were inoculated in five centres – Shillong Civil hospital, Nazareth hospital, Bethany hospital, MIMHANS and Rynjah State Dispensary were the five centres for the 18-44 age group.

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However, some of the beneficiaries complained at the slow process and others about the difficulty in registering online through the website cowin.gov.in. Some of these beneficiaries turned up and were seeking from health authorities how to register on the website.

“I came with high hopes to get myself vaccinated but I did not know that pre-registration was the criteria,” a disappointed beneficiary at Shillong Civil Hospital said.

Nonetheless, even those who got inoculated said the process of pre-registration was too slow due to poor internet connectivity .

“The process was a bit slow as there were some issues with the computer. Everyone should get themselves vaccinated to stay protected,” one of the 18 plus beneficiaries who received her first jab at the Shillong Civil hospital said.

In the government-run centres, the vaccine was provided free of cost, but in the private hospital it came at a cost.

“I received the vaccine and it cost me Rs. 500,” another beneficiary said after getting the jab at the Nazareth hospital.

The reason for the slots being booked in all the centres was because there are only 42000 doses that the state has received for the 18-44 age group.

Most of these centres were therefore booked by the beneficiaries in advance.

Most of these 42000 vaccines have been reserved for vulnerable areas of the state like in East Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi district. The two districts account for more than 60 percent of the total active cases in the state.

The Meghalaya government has ordered for another 5 lakh doses from the centre.

However, due to a shortage of vaccines in the country, the state would have to wait for sometime till the next batch of vaccines arrives in the state.

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