The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) held the first meeting of its COVID-19 Vaccine Programme task force on Friday, chalking out a strategy for its distribution. The vaccine is expected to be available in the coming months.
The distribution and administering of the vaccine will be carried out systematically in three phases, said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner (health), who headed the task force meeting held on Friday.
The task force revealed that at least 500 teams, comprising five trained personnel each, will be deployed to administer the COVID-19 vaccine across the city. The first to get inoculated will be health workers, especially those working in COVID-19 hospitals.
"We are looking at making the vaccines available at the COVID-19 hospitals so that health workers do not have to travel far. The teams can reach out to them instead of stationing themselves at certain centres nearby where these health workers can go on the given dates," said Kakani.
In the second phase, frontline workers like police staff, paramedical staff, conservancy workers, other support staff (such as BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) and Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC)) and all those departments who supported by directly working on COVID-19 duties will be covered.
In the third phase, all those people of above 50 years of age and also those who have comorbidities will be covered. Kakani added, "We have started getting the list of people from various departments who will be the beneficiaries under the third phase according to the state government guidelines.”
The announcement of the strategy being drawn by the civic body was made by Kakani in the first meeting of the city task force for vaccine distribution at the BMC headquarters on Friday.
The Maharashtra government last month formed a task force to manage the distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in the state. Following this, a task force was also set up at the city level. The selected beneficiaries of the vaccine will receive a message on their registered mobile numbers, informed Kakani, who heads the task force. The process of setting up committees at the regional level to oversee vaccination will also be completed soon, he added.