After a dull couple of days, vaccination rates in Chennai began gathering pace on Monday. At the Apollo Hospital's main branch on Greams Road, nearly 372 individuals of ages 18 and 44 were administered jabs as of 3.30pm. The hospital said a total of 500 slots had been set aside for vaccinating the 18 to 44 age-group every day.
"We did only about 134 vaccinations yesterday and barely 13 for the 18 to 44 age group on May 1, since there was a shortage in stocks," said a doctor at the vaccination site, "We are targeting 500 slots today and have the capability to do more, as well." The vaccine site continued vaccinating the 45-plus age category, as it began inoculation of the 18 to 44 group.
While there were some difficulties in finding slots, the vaccination process itself was largely seamless. "I didn't have an issue getting a slot, except for the fact that slots itself opened and closed fast since there were many people trying at the same time," said Srivatsan who used the CoWin app to find himself a slot at the site.
Others like Bharat had to wait for two days before getting the jab, since many vaccine sites didn't have enough stock to carry out a full vaccination drive on May 1. "I booked an appointment for Saturday, but thanks to the shortage, I had to push it today," he said, "The slot was difficult to get because the portal kept refreshing. But with enough tries, I managed to get one today."
While the Tamil Nadu Government has said that it will not have necessary stocks from either the Serum Institute of India or Bharat Biotech to begin vaccination of the 18 to 44 age group on May 1, private players like hospitals have managed to secure vaccine stocks from both manufacturers. Not surprisingly, the rush at Apollo - one of the names to receive stocks on time - was visible at all eight of the group's vaccine sites in Chennai.
As of May 2, Tamil Nadu's health department reported a cumulative vaccination tally of 59.4 lakh who have received at least one vaccine jab.