Mumbai: The Covid vaccination drive in Mumbai on May 17 stands cancelled in view of the high-intensity cyclone (Tauktae) warning issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to Maharashtra, among other states, informed BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal. This will be the third consecutive day that the drive will have been suspended.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had announced on May 14 that there would be no inoculation on May 15 and May 16 for the same reason. Now, the order has been extended up to May 17 based on the IMD’s forecast.
Chahal further said that the vaccination drive (walk-in for those above 60 years) would continue as planned between May 18 and May 20, instead of May 17 to May 19 as had been decided by the civic body last week. After May 20, the Serum Institute of India has informed the Maharashtra chief minister that 1.5 crore vaccine doses will be delivered to the state per month.
A BMC official had earlier said that the civic body had shifted 580 patients from Covid care centres in the city as a precautionary measure following the warning that Cyclone Tauktae was likely to pass close to the city.
Meanwhile, Chahal also said the Central government had issued directions to maintain a gap of 12 to 16 weeks between two doses of the Covishield vaccine. Hence, none except health workers and frontline workers would be eligible for the second Covishield dose currently, as vaccination for other categories had commenced on March 1.
Last week, the BMC had announced that senior citizens waiting for their second dose of Covishield or Covaxin, as well as the disabled could opt for walk-in vaccinations from Monday to Wednesday.
“Due to this change, the civic body has decided to extend the walk-in (vaccination) facility for citizens above 60 years of age for the first Covishield dose during May 18- 20,” Chahal said.