Mumbai: BMC issues new guidelines for vaccination in housing societies, workplaces

Unphased by the fact that more than 2,000 citizens have been administered fake vaccines, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has allowed the housing societies in Mumbai to proceed with their vaccination drives but with a condition that the office bearers of societies will have to do the legwork of cross checking the 'authenticity' of the private hospitals, who approach them for holding vaccination camps.

This comes after the BMC through senior counsel Anil Sakhare submitted the draft copy of the new guidelines framed by the civic body against the fake vaccine camps before the Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Thursday. The judges have adjourned the hearing till July 15 to see how the guidelines work till then.

According to the new guidelines, the housing societies or workplaces, desirous of holding a vaccination camp will have to first cross check whether the private COVID vaccination center (PCVC) is registered on the CoWin application. "The housing societies will have to cross check this after contacting the local authorities", the guidelines state.

Further the guidelines mandate appointing of a nodal officer from the society, who has to be an office bearer of the society itself.

The guidelines detail the responsibilities of such a nodal officer, who would closely monitor the entire vaccination camp right from signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensuring the drive goes on smoothly.

"The nodal officer has to ensure that the PCVC engaged for the camp is registered on the CoWin app by contacting and confirming with local health authorities. The officer will have to maintain all records pertaining to the PCVC, the charges of the doses, number of people vaccinated and even the MoU and provide it to the competent authority, as and when asked for," the guidelines state, adding, "The nodal officer must provide the list of eligible persons to be inoculated, the details of the PCVC, date and time when the camp would be held, to the local health authorities and even the police station, at least three days in advance".

The guidelines further state that the nodal officer will have to oversee and monitor the entire vaccination drive and inform the police and local authorities if any malpractice is observed and that s/he will have to be more "vigilant."

A similar officer is mandated to be appointed by each PCVC, who would inform the authorities of the camps to be held. "The officer will have to ensure that the details of the drive is entered real time on the CoWin application. The officer to also provide a proper link for digital certificates to the beneficiaries," the guidelines state.

Finally on the role of the nodal officer from the local health authorities, the guidelines state that s/he will have to conduct random "supervisory" visits to such camps, after cross checking the PCVC is registered or not.

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