COVID-19 in Mumbai: BMC permits housing societies, offices to tie up with private hospitals, vaccination centres to conduct vaccination drive - check out guidelines
(Photo by AFP)

Amid chaos over the booking of appointment slots and their unavailability, the Covid-19 vaccination drive has landed at your doorstep. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has issued a detailed guideline, permitting housing societies and workplaces (private) to tie up with private hospitals/ Covid vaccination centres (CVC) to hold these drives on their premises, subject to the availability of stocks.

Hospitals / vaccine centre will have to ensure that all protocols are followed during the drive. These vaccines will come at a cost fixed mutually by the workplaces/housing societies with the private hospitals/ CVCs. While some housing societies are already in talks with the BMC, a few others are trying to set up their infrastructure.

Suresh Kakani, Additional municipal commissioner (health), said housing societies, industrial complexes, banks and corporate houses can tie up with any private hospital/ CVCs for doorstep vaccination. “We have notified 75 private hospitals for vaccination and we can add more as and when they apply. Hospitals will have to take care of the holding area, vaccination and observation area post-vaccination, and follow all protocols. Those who want free vaccination can come to the 227 new centres that the BMC will be setting up later. These centres will provide free vaccination and they will be operational once we get enough stock,” said Kakani.

He added, "It is necessary and inevitable to expand the available numbers of CVCs / PCVCs to cater to the large population which is eligible as per the new directives, especially in a metropolis like Mumbai. We have to speed up vaccination before the Third wave of Covid-19 hits the city. This policy, therefore, liberalises the current practices/permissions without compromising on the safety aspect. The onus and responsibilities of the PCVC shall be increased; at the same time, they shall get faster and easy permissions to take up the work of vaccination."

As per the guideline allowing doorstep vaccination, a registered Private Covid Vaccination Center can manage the vaccination at housing societies and workplaces. One of their senior staff will be appointed as a "Nodal Officer" to coordinate and support vaccination activities. This Nodal Officer shall oversee and facilitate all aspects of vaccination at Work Place CVC/Housing Society like registration of beneficiaries, availability of physical and IT infrastructure and oversight to vaccination etc.

Besides, it will still be mandatory for the beneficiaries to be registered in the Co-WIN portal before vaccination. The PCVC Nodal Officer shall ensure registration of all targeted beneficiaries. In the case of the workplace, on-the-spot registration shall also be available only to employees of the workplace. (The family members of employees must be registered in the Co-WIN portal before vaccination). All the registered PCVCs on the CoWIN portal can have linkages with all such Work Place/Housing Society for vaccination. One PCVC can have linkages with one or more Work Places or housing society.

"The information of all such linked workplaces/Housing Societies will be given in detail to Local Health Authority (respective ward MOH) & EPI. These registered housing societies and workplaces shall act as a sub-center of PCVC. Availability of three rooms as waiting, vaccination and observation rooms at Work Place/Housing Society CVC will be mandatory. Minimum eligible number of registered beneficiaries (Multiples of 10) and sessions can be planned for optimal utilization of vaccine dosage and reduce wastage. The most important thing will be the availability of an ambulance at the sub-vaccination site and along with linkages to the nearby health facility for the management of AEFI," said a senior BMC official.

The SoP further states that each of the PCVC shall have one registration on Cowin App as parental PCVC and one registration as workplace PCVC. The Co-operative Housing Societies and workplace vaccination shall be done through workplace registration.

"Some of the Work Places may have health infrastructure in form of hospitals, health clinics, nursing centres etc. This infrastructure may be utilized to set up vaccination site in case they have sufficient space for waiting, vaccination and observation rooms are available. The health care workers of this health infrastructure of the Work Place (such as doctors, nurses and other staff) will be trained & deployed for the COVID-19 vaccination activities at Work Places," the official said.

The SoP makes it mandatory for the management of the Work Place / Housing Society to take responsibility for arranging adequate rooms / space for vaccination (waiting room, vaccination room and observation room) . It will also be mandatory for all Work Place / Housing Society to have an anaphylaxis kit for management of any adverse event and needs to quickly report the event to the nearest Health Facility (AEFI Management Centre). Deployment of basic life support (BLS) ambulance at the Work Place / Housing Society and shall be utilized for shifting beneficiaries during the adverse event if any.

" It will be mandatory for these sub-centres (housing societies and workplaces) to ensure sessions are conducted as per the type of vaccinations. The second dose and first dose should not be mixed up and be administered in different sessions to avoid mix up.

PCVC nodal person must ensure that there is no interchangeability of vaccine of 1st dose and 2nd dose," the official said.

PCVC Nodal officer shall be responsible for providing a printed copy of the vaccination certificate, both after 1st and 2nd doses, to the beneficiary, on-site after vaccination. The remaining protocol of beneficiary verification will remain the same and these guidelines will come into effect immediately.

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