Drive-in vaccination against Covid has been planned at Quest Mall and is likely to start on Friday, officials of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) said.
Once the facility starts, people of age 45 or more can get their first jab while seated in their cars from 10am to 5pm. The civic body is yet to start inoculation of people in the 18-44 age group.
Only Covishield will be administered at the mall, on Syed Amir Ali Avenue, off the Park Circus seven-point crossing.
Officials said the drive-in vaccination had been planned primarily for the elderly and the ailing who may find it difficult to get out of a car and wait at a vaccination centre. In a drive-in vaccination facility, the recipients need not step out of their cars.
“We have decided to start drive-in vaccination at Quest Mall. We are trying to start the service on Friday,” said Atin Ghosh, who heads the civic health department as a member of the CMC’s board of administrators.
“The decision as of now is that the facility will be available to people above 45. Those in the 18-44 age group can opt for the service if they belong to any priority or potential superspreader group,” Ghosh said.
One has to book a slot for drive-in vaccination through the WhatsApp chatbox opened by the civic body, which is also accepting bookings for over 100 ward health clinics of the CMC.
Prospective recipients have to type ‘Hi’ and send it to 8335999000 to start the booking process, which comprises a series of interactive steps.
“We will include Quest Mall as a Covid vaccination centre among other options. It seems Quest Mall will be added as an option on Thursday. We are awaiting a final nod from the CMC,” said an official of the state e-governance mission team (SeMT), which designed the chatbot.
To book a vaccination spot at the drive-in facility, one needs to provide the registration number of the vehicle in which she or he will travel.
“We will give a 30-minute window to those who will book slots at the drive-in facility. If someone turns up too early, he or she will not be allowed in. This rule aims to ensure that the parking area does not get clogged,” said the SeMT official.
The recipients, he said, will be advised to register on the CoWIN portal before heading for the mall.
A maximum of four persons per car can take the jabs. Two-wheelers will not be allowed now, the SeMT official said.
An official of Quest Mall said they were approached by the CMC to provide space for the drive-in vaccination. “We are awaiting a formal communication from the CMC,” said the official.