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Mumbai at last position in vaccinating children between 12 to 14 years among all districts in Maharashtra

Swapnil Mishra | Updated on: Sunday, April 24, 2022, 10:51 PM IST

(PTI Photo)
(PTI Photo)
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Despite 18 years and above in Mumbai being fully vaccinated, the city stands at the last position in vaccinating children between 12 to 14 years among all districts in Maharashtra. According to the data provided by the state health department, 18.30 per cent population of this group has been vaccinated, while only 0.31 per cent are fully vaccinated in this age group. However, all other districts are above 20 per cent. Civic officials said they are planning a strategy to increase the pace of vaccination for which they have held a meeting with the school's principal and general practitioners in each ward.

“There is a sense of hesitancy towards Corbevax as it is a new vaccine. Many parents want to wait and watch for some more time. So, it was expected that the number is very less and wastage wastage would be higher than the vaccines that are already in the market,” said an officer from the Health department.

As per the statistics, 17 of the 36 districts have vaccinated more than 50 per cent of children between 12 to 14 years, while the state average is around 47.75 per cent until April 20.

In Mumbai, there are about 4 lakh children in the age group of 12-14 years. As per the data with the civic body until April 22, as many as 83,785 children have been inoculated so far with the first dose of the vaccine, while only 3,616 have taken both doses.

But due to the low turnout, the vaccination centres don’t get enough children to use the full vials. This is leading to wastage of doses, said state health officials. “Current scenario of children vaccination is totally different compared to adult vaccination which results in participation of children between 12 to 14 years is very poor. We have been creating awareness regarding the vaccine Corbevax but it being the new vaccine many of the parents are hesitant and do not want their children to take the dose considering it might have severe side effects,” said an official from the state health department.

Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner said Currently, they are following the format to provide a vaccination centre for a cluster of schools. In such an instance, parents take the children to vaccinate as per their convenience. However, if the schools themselves set up a drive and make proper arrangements, the drive will be more systematic and easily accessible.

Those in charge of administering vaccines claim that many adolescents have a fear of syringes. “Inoculation of babies is completely different from vaccinating adolescents. We can divert a child with chocolate to take the jab, but it is really difficult to convince children in this age group,” said Swati Parekh, a nurse at BYL Nair Hospital.

Officials from the health department said the response to the drive has been lower than expected due to the dip in the daily Covid-19 cases. “With Covid-19 cases reaching an all-time low, the fear has disappeared and so has the urgency among parents to get their children vaccinated,” said Dr Gautam Bhansali of Bombay Hospital.

Lowest Five

Mumbai- 18.30%

Parbhani- 29.11%

Buldhana- 29.82%

Nanded- 30.36%

Nagpur- 30.54

Top Five

Sangli-78.53%

Nashik-76.95%

Bhandara-74.91%

Ahmednagar-74.83%

Satara- 73.24%

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Published on: Monday, April 25, 2022, 06:49 AM IST