The BMC is likely to complete the preparations for distribution, storage, and administration of the vaccine in the city this week. These preparations will eventually entail inoculation of 1.25 lakh frontline healthcare workers who have registered themselves on CoWin-20.
Once the vaccine arrives in Mumbai, it will be stored at a facility being created especially for this purpose at Kanjurmarg. Since this facility is still work in progress and the BMC does not want to take any chances, ten bulk-capacity refrigerators have been placed at the F-south ward office in Parel and in medical colleges to store the vaccines, just in case.
From either the Kanjurmarg facility or the F-south ward office, the vaccines will be moved to eight BMC-run hospitals where the frontline workers will be inoculated. The eight hospitals are KEM, Sion, Nair, Cooper, Bandra-Bhabha, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Municipal General Hospital, Kandivali, Rajawadi, and V N Desai Hospital.
Each of the eight designated hospitals has formed six-member teams headed by a senior doctor. Other four members of these teams will comprise a head nurse and four support staff, including a guard to control access to the area earmarked for administering the vaccine.
Moreover, the civic body has received 17 ice-lined refrigerators from the state government and the same has been placed at the eight designated hospitals. Each refrigerator can store up to 48,000 vaccines vials. The corporation has also placed orders for 40-cubic meter and 49-cubic meter walk-in refrigerators, which, between them, will be able to hold 60 lakh vials.
The vaccination areas will have three enclosures — waiting area, vaccination area and observation area. Each beneficiary will be observed for half-an-hour after receiving a shot.
“We have done with our preparations and we have made three smaller task forces – one at each of the eight designated hospitals, another to oversee immunisation work at ward level, and a third focused on logistics,” said Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner and also heading the covid-19 vaccine task force.
“So far, ICMR (India Council of Medical Research) has given the nod to vaccinate around 1.25lakh health workers from public and private sectors. Along with this, with the approval of ICMR, we may include police, employees of solid waste management and citizens above 50 years in the first phase of the vaccination process. But we are yet to get official approval from ICMR and the state government on it,” he said.