Forty-two per cent of healthcare, frontline and senior citizens across Maharashtra have taken the precautionary doses in the last seven days. According to the CoWin portal, until 6 pm on Monday 3,77,232 beneficiaries have taken the precautionary doses between January 10 to 17. However there are 9,00,000 eligible senior citizens, healthcare and frontline workers for precautionary doses in the state. Officials said the numbers of beneficiaries taking precautionary doses could have been more as most of the senior citizens have contracted covid infections in the third wave, while many HCWs and FLWs have taken unofficially precautionary doses.
According to the CoWin portal, Mumbai has topped with administered precautionary doses to 91,177, followed by Pune (51,041 ), Thane(35,676 ),Nashik (22,597 ), Nagpur(21,398 ) and Kolhapur (11,585 ).
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner said there has been good response for the precautionary doses as senior citizens have shown willingness for it and will be the first city to administer one lakh precautionary doses. “We were expecting numbers to be higher but due to the third wave most of them contracted infections so those who were eligible could not take the precautionary dose. Moreover many HCWS and FLWs had unofficially taken their third dose last year due to which those numbers are not counted,” he said.
Joy Chakraborty, Chief operating officer, PD Hinduja Hospital said the number of people taking precautionary dose is less than the expectation as most of them are under quarantine or have turned covid positive due to which they have to wait for 84 days. “We expect numbers to increase in the coming days considering people who have got viral fever had not taken the precautionary dose will now take it. Moreover others who have tested covid positive will have to wait for 84 days. Meanwhile, citizens should come forward and take the covid vaccine which can only reduce the severity of the virus,” he said.
A state COVID task force member said there is a need to reduce the eligible criteria for booster dose in case the person has tested positive. “Right now, the wait period for a positive person is 84 days from recovery. We need to allow them to take the booster dose after 30 days. The number of days for taking booster doses need to be reviewed,” he said.