A day after the Central Government granted permission to 29 major private hospitals in the city to join the drive to vaccinate senior citizens above 60 and individuals between 45 to 59 years with comorbidities, the hospitals are awaiting guidelines from the state government before they can begin.
However, private hospitals will start vaccinating senior citizens from Friday, with some of them scheduled to carry out a trial run today (March 4). Doctors said they were awaiting a final nod from the state government before going ahead with the drive; the guidelines are expected to be more or less the same as those the Centre had issued last week.
Dr Gautam Bhansali, Consultant Physician, Bombay Hospital, and coordinator of private hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic said the private hospitals were an essential part of the medical healthcare structure and all major hospitals had over 2,000 healthcare staff to help expedite the process.
The hospitals that had been selected had played a major role in treating Covid patients. “We are not expecting much change in the guidelines to be issued by the state government. Just like the present rules, probable beneficiaries will be able to pre-register on the CoWin portal for booking a slot or directly walk in for vaccination,” he said.
He further said, five vaccine booths had been set up at Bombay Hospital, of which two would be dedicated to senior citizens and those above 45+. There would be a trial run to check the functioning of the CoWin portal, to rule out problems at the time of the actual vaccination drive. “We will start the actual vaccination drive by Friday or Saturday, but before that, we will need to be well-prepared, to avoid the chaos seen at the other centres in the last two days,” Dr Bhansali added.
Dr S N Mehra, Medical Director, Masina Hospital, said most hospitals were following the guidelines issued by the Central Government and many of them were running immunisation programmes and therefore had trained staff who could easily administer the vaccines. As soon as the state government released the government resolution, they would start the process, he informed.
“We have made arrangements to ensure storage and proper cold chain regulation and biomedical waste disposal protocols are strictly followed. Security arrangements are also in place, along with police bandobast for the drive. We have more than adequate staff in place, including 6-12 doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff. Meanwhile, we have already received the permission from the BMC and have also completed the process of procuring vaccine,” he said.
The hospital has also requested the BMC to start the registration portal CoWin with working rights for Madina as soon as possible. “Tentatively, we should be starting by Friday,” Dr Mehra added.
Dr Deepak Baid, President, Association of Medical Consultant said currently, private hospitals would be given a daily target of vaccinating 100 senior citizens. But to expedite the process, they need to increase the target to 300. “It is a welcome move and we need to also increase the number of those vaccinated from 100, to 300 per day,” he said.