COVID-19 in Mumbai: BMC to vaccinate 1 crore people in a month
BL Soni

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is gearing up to vaccinate around 1 crore people in a month as soon as the vaccine is approved. For this, the civic body has made a blueprint of the vaccination process and they are planning to vaccinate Mumbaikars first. The civic body also has plans to include medical staff, solid waste management staff, police force and citizens above 50 years onto the priority list for vaccination.

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC said that they are ready with the blueprint and are planning to vaccinate almost half of the population within a month after the rollout of the vaccine next year. However, everything depends on the state government releasing new guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

“So far, India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given A nod to vaccinate around 1.25 lakh health workers from public and private sectors. With the approval of ICMR, we may include the police force, employees of solid waste management and citizens above 50 years into the first phase of the vaccination process. But we are yet to get an official approval from ICMR and the state government,” he said. Moreover, 1.25 lakh healthcare workers are first on priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine, of which 66,000 HCW are from the state and civic-run hospitals, while the rest are from the private hospitals.

However, all the states have been directed to be prepared with a blueprint of their first vaccination process. The BMC has been holding regular meetings with senior health officers, including the deans of the medical colleges. As per the initial planning of the blueprint, other than medical colleges, the civic body will start vaccination points at peripheral hospitals, except at maternity hospitals. Also, each ward will have two vaccination points.

“We are trying to create as many vaccination centres as possible to fasten the process. We have also created a blueprint on the training process of the vaccine providers. We also have to procure cold chain boxes (vaccine carriers that help to maintain the temperature until it is delivered to the centre) from the government for the transportation of the vaccines,” he added.

At present, BMC has identified a 5,000 square feet floor in a five-storey civic building in Kanjurmarg as a cold storage facility. But, depending on the type of the vaccine, the temperature of the cold storage facility will be structured.

The King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital in Parel and BYL Nair hospital in Mumbai Central is conducting the second and third phase of the clinical trials of the foreign vaccine COVISHIELD manufactured by Oxford University. Lokmanya Tilak General Hospital, known as Sion Hospital and the government-run JJ hospital will soon start the clinical trial of the first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine- COVAXIN.

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