GANGTOK: Users in Sikkim struggled trying to register themselves for vaccination on the CoWin app, as registration opened for people between 18-45 years of age on Wednesday. The health department, meanwhile, said vaccination for people in the 18-45 age group will not start from May 1, as announced by the Central government.

Many users in Sikkim said that even as they registered on the CoWin portal they’ll have to wait until they were 45 years or above, as the portal indicated vaccines were available only for that age group and no one below it.

On Thursday, State Health Department’s DG-cum-Secretary Pempa Tshering Bhutia said vaccination of people in the 18 to 44 years category from May 1 is not possible, as the vaccine procurement process is still on.

“Online registration of 18 to 44 years may be possible but vaccination of 18 to 44 years from May 1 is not possible. The vaccine procurement process is still on,” Bhutia said.

The government has proposed procurement of 6.60 lakh doses of Covishield and have placed an order with the Serum Institute, Pune.

“Out of these, 1.50 lakh doses are requested to be delivered in May. The vaccination drive for this age group will start as and when we receive the consignment,” said Bhutia.

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Another health department official said there is no facility for onsite registration for the 18-45 age group. “The vaccination of healthcare workers, field-level workers and those above 45 years will continue as before.”

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