Tuesday, December 6

Kolkata: Private hospitals to extend working hours for 45+ vaccine recipients

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Several private hospitals in the city will have extended working hours, additional sites and a bigger workforce to handle the crowd when the 45-plus age group joins the vaccination drive on April 1.

Most are expecting a rush during the first fortnight after which the crowd may thin. With vaccination hours extended and the recipients being younger and working professionals, the crowd could be bigger during the evening hours, hospital authorities have pointed out.

RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (RTIICS) has extended its vaccination hours till 9 pm and will be operating its vaccination sites even on Sundays, if there is a huge rush. “While one of our sites will cater exclusively to the 45-plus group, the other will be shared with other recipients. We expect a big rush to begin with so we are keeping the option of working on Sundays open,” said RTIICS zonal head R Venkatesh.
At Medica Superspecialty Hospital, vaccination sites have been operating 24 hours a day for the last one month. This will help the new group since they will have the option of taking the jab after work, said Medica chairperson Alok Roy. “We expect most 45-plus recipients to visit either between 8 am and 10 am or after 6 pm. We are calling up recipients and asking them to drop in at odd hours so that they don’t have to wait in a queue. This group is younger and mobile unlike the senior citizens, so we expect the exercise to be easier and faster,” said Roy.

Peerless Hospital has created a new and bigger vaccination site to meet the rush. It will inoculate both senior citizens and the 45-plus age group.

“This is an additional site that we have started using from Tuesday on a trial basis. It will help to handle the rush when the new group comes in,” said Peerless Hospital CEO Sudipta Mitra.

He added that the hospital is ready to scale up the number of inoculations to 500 a day. “The new site will make it possible to vaccinate more which is necessary now given that the numbers are rising fast. If the government provides the vials, we are ready to vaccinate more,” said Mitra.

AMRI Hospitals, too, has decided to deploy additional workforce to ensure smooth vaccination.

“We are ready to scale up the number of inoculations to 1500 a day from the present 800-900 across our three units. Our working hours, too, will be extended, though we are not going to work round-the-clock,” said AMRI CEO Rupak Barua.

On Monday, the state government urged hospitals to to take an initiative to spread awareness about vaccination and reach out to recipients in their catchment areas. They have been asked to convey the message that vaccination is safe.

Some hospitals are already reaching out to elderly recipients in housing complexes and social clubs, helping to register for vaccination.

Source: Times of India

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