Mumbai: As COVID-19 cases rise, BMC urges eligible citizens to take their precautionary doses

As per the CoWin portal, so far 7.01 lakh have been administered precautionary doses in the city.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Friday, June 03, 2022, 11:21 PM IST
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Mumbai: As COVID-19 cases rise, BMC urges eligible citizens to take their precautionary doses | PTI

The BMC has urged eligible citizens to take their precautionary or booster Covid-19 vaccine doses. The civic body has also directed all the health officers to visit door-to-door to speed up the coverage, ensuring everyone has taken both doses, including the booster. Health experts believe the numbers will increase this month as vaccinated beneficiaries’ antibody levels might have been compromised.

As per the CoWin portal, so far 7.01 lakh have been administered precautionary doses in the city. A senior health officer from the civic health department said, the initial days of the booster programme evoked a good response, but later during the third wave, people either became vaccine-hesitant or contracted the infection.“The delayed eligibility for the third dose and the laxity among beneficiaries may have slowed the coverage. However, people are now coming forward for precautionary doses,” he said.

Booster doses or precautionary doses for healthcare workers, frontline workers, and people above 60 years started on January 10. This category continues to get the vaccine shots for free in the public sector. The boosters for people between 18 and 59 years were rolled out on April 10, and are available only in the private sector and cost around Rs 350 per dose. As of Wednesday, the state had administered 1,484,50 boosters in the 18-59 age group.

Experts have highlighted the need to make the third shot accessible to all free of cost. “The booster shots will not only prevent infection but, as seen in the past, will also help control the severity among patients. Hence, it is essential that those over 50 years and patients with comorbidities take the third jab,” said an expert.

Dr Lancelot Pinto, consultant pulmonologist and epidemiologist at PD Hinduja Hospital said, “To the best of our knowledge, there hasn’t been a rise in demand for boosters despite the present spike. Those who have risk factors and/or are elderly should be strongly encouraged to receive a booster dose if they haven’t taken it.”

“Migration to cities and a drop in Covid-19 cases have deterred many from taking the jab. So, we have decided to intensify the door-to-door vaccination,” said Dr Sachin Desai, the state immunisation officer.

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