As the mad scramble to register for the Covid vaccine among those in the 18-44 age group began on the CoWIN portal, some of those who got lucky in Noida were shocked to see that there was not even one centre, government or private, available for scheduling appointments for the jab in the third phase.
Rajiv, 43, who got through along with registering his wife Geetanjali, 41, on the portal had nowhere to go as the centres available for vaccination scheduling were only available for people age 45 and above.
"The whole exercise went in vain. I was trying to register since 4 p.m. as soon as the portal went live. It crashed several times and when I finally got through, there was no centre in entire Gautam Buddha Nagar district that was available for scheduling," Rajiv told IANS.
The message that appeared on the website said that if you do not see a vaccination centre for your age group, it means that government and private facilities are yet to open for scheduling appointments in your area, and the list will be updated soon.
Vaccine shortage has led to fears that this mass vaccination drive may become a sore exercise for the state governments.
Registration for the third phase of Covid vaccination for everyone above 18 years started from 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
On April 19, the Union government announced that everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible to get a vaccine against Covid-19 from May 1.
It had already clarified that there will be no walk-in allowed for beneficiaries in the third phase.
"Only self-registration and advance appointments for people between 18 to 45 years of age. No walk in allowed," it had said.
In Phase 3 of the vaccination drive, vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the Centre and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to the state government and in the open market.
All vaccination would be part of the National Vaccination Programme, and mandated to follow all protocols such as being captured on CoWIN platform, linked to AEFI reporting and all other prescribed norms.