Four days after vaccination resumed on Wednesday, chaotic scenes were witnessed outside a few inoculation centres in the twin-city.
The acute shortage of vaccines has exposed the absence of a solid roll out plan by the central government authorities amidst the looming threat of the third wave of the deadly coronavirus.
Fearing a repeat of further interruptions in the vaccination process and uncertain sessions by the health department of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), citizens started gathering at the designated centers before 7 am on Wednesday- more than two hours before the distribution of tokens which had been scheduled at 9 am.
Serpentine queues and huge crowds were witnessed at some of the centres even as Covid appropriate behavior-mainly social distancing norms went for a toss.
Due to limited stock, many were deprived of tokens, leading to unruly scenes. At a center in Murdha village in Bhayandar, aspiring beneficiaries got irate after watching local politicians helping their supporters in gaining direct access to the vaccination units, sans tokens.
A security guard was also manhandled in the melee. Since the stocks got exhausted, no sessions have been planned for Thursday. As against the 2,82,890 doses received, the MBMC has inoculated 3,01,133 beneficiaries even making use of the extra dose available as a wastage factor in each vial. However, staring at an acute shortage of vaccines, the MBMC is giving priority for those who are due for their second dose, when scheduling vaccination sessions.
Regular drives have been on-hold as no vaccination sessions have been planned for the past couple of days. “We are equipped to vaccinate around 15,000 people on a daily basis, however the short supply of vaccines has slowed down the drive.” said a health officer.