The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said that it has given home vaccination to 1,317 bed-ridden persons as of August 9 and there hasn’t been a single case of Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) in these persons.
An affidavit was filed by Dr Mangala Gomare, Executive Health Officer with the BMC before the Bombay High Court in response to a public interest litigation filed by two advocates – Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari – seeking a direction to the Union government to start door-to-door vaccination for senior citizens above the age of 75 years, specially abled persons and those who are bed-ridden or wheelchair bound.
The affidavit reads: “Till August 9, 2021, 1,317 numbers of bed-ridden citizens have been vaccinated during the door-to-door vaccination drive. No incidence of AEFI (adverse events following immunization) has been reported.”
According to the BMC’s affidavit 4,889 bed ridden individuals had registered for home vaccination as on August 9.
Before starting the drive on August 2, the BMC had carried out a pilot run on July 30 with the help of an NGO in which 37 persons were vaccinated at their homes. Since August 2, the corporation has started home vaccination drive in all 24 wards in the city.
As per the earlier HC directions, the BMC has said that they had to take help from NGOs in some wards for manpower support and basic life support ambulances.
Detailing the role of NGO’s, as per earlier HC directions, the BMC has said that it can help in calling the beneficiaries 3-4 days prior to the day of vaccination.
Besides, the NGO can help in sensitising doctors to arrange for a “Fit for Covid-19 vaccination” for the bed-ridden patient. Also, it can support in arranging a doctor to wait for 30 minutes post vaccination. This would “ease the burden on already strained public health system”.
During the hearing last week, Kapadia had pointed out to the court that many bed-ridden patients face difficulty in getting support from local doctor – getting a certificate stating that they are “fit for Covid 19 vaccine” and waiting for half an hour after the vaccination. The HC had asked her to give her suggestions in improving the drive.
An affidavit filed by Kapadia suggests that “in event beneficiaries physician is unable to give certificate-BMC doctor can give the certificate after visiting such beneficiary personally who propose to take vaccination 48 hours prior to the scheduled vaccination.”
She has also suggested that an easy booking system should be started for registration for home vaccination which include helpline number, website, SMS booking and WhatsApp Booking. So far BMC has an email id where patients have to register.
“There can be app created where medical history of the beneficiary can be stored on registration so that if any adverse effect happens immediately tracking the medical record treatment can be taken forward without delay,” adds her affidavit.
The PILs were filed seeking home vaccination for the bed-ridden stating that these persons would be unable to go to the vaccination centres.
Initially, the Centre had expressed its inability to introduce the door-to-door vaccination drive on the grounds of wastage of vaccines and risk of adverse reactions.
The PILs is likely to come up for hearing before the division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni on Thursday.