Coronavirus in Mumbai: Eligible beneficiaries now need not wait for scheduled time for COVID-19 vaccine

Amid a spike in number of COVID-19 cases in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday said that beneficiaries who have registered themselves with the Co-Win platform now need not wait for the date of scheduled appointment and can get the dose by visiting the nearest vaccination centre.

Presently there are 92 vaccination centres in Mumbai, which comprise 59 private hospitals and dispensaries, 25 civic-run hospitals and eight state government-run hospitals.

On an average, about 45,000 beneficiaries are getting the dose regularly. However, the BMC has pointed out that up to 41,000 beneficiaries are vaccinated at the civic-run hospitals regularly while only 4,000-5,000 beneficiaries are heading at private hospitals.

Senior civic health officials have said that many beneficiaries have to delay their schedule due to non-availability of dates in the Co-Win platform.

"The private hospitals have been told to increase the daily vaccination target to inoculate 1,000 beneficiaries at least, we believe many people are not coming out to get their dose because of unavailability of appointment dates," said a senior civic health official.

"Often there are glitches in the Co-Win platform for which our daily target and slots do not get updated smoothly, which is why we have asked people to directly visit the centres after getting themselves registered," the official added.

"At this stage we want to vaccinate as many people as we can, so if beneficiaries go directly to the centres with their registration ids then they will get the dose on spot," said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner and in-charge of public health in the BMC.

Meanwhile, the BMC has also written to the Union ministry seeking permission to activate 21 more private hospitals so that it can take part in the ongoing phase of the vaccination drive. Kakani also said that if any senior citizen visits the vaccination centre without the registration process, then civic volunteers will help them get registered.

"The option of pre-registration has been there since beginning, we have instructed the local ward officials for setting up booths and assistance points at vaccination centres to help the beneficiaries with the registration process," Kakani added.

Earlier on Friday, the BMC in a statement has said that in order to raise awareness amongst people regarding the vaccination drive it has asked roped in social welfare organisations and have asked corporators to start campaigning for raising awareness amongst citizens.

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