Despite facing a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has managed to administer the first dose to 50 per cent of its population above 18 years of age. Civic officials believe the number would have been higher. However, for the last two months, the frequency of the vaccination drive has been disrupted and the number of beneficiaries being vaccinated in Mumbai has dropped.
According to the data, there are 90 lakh people in the age group of 18 years and above who are eligible for immunisation, of which 45 lakh people have taken their first dose and 11.5 lakh people have taken their second dose since the mass vaccination drive started in January.
A senior health officer from the Public Health Department said that the civic body has the capacity to vaccinate 1 to 1.5 lakh people per day. However, due to the shortage of supply, they have been vaccinating an average of 60,000 to 70,000 people per day. “There have been instances where centres had to be shut down, as we did not have vaccine doses. Moreover, in May, we had to stop administering doses to people between 18 years and 44 years of age. Therefore, the number is less than what I should have been. If we had enough stock, we would have vaccinated more than 70 per cent of Mumbai’s population within two months,” he said.
Suresh Kakani, additional Municipal Commissioner, said they are facing a huge shortage of vaccines. BMC expects 1 to 1.50 lakh doses. However, it has been receiving less than 1 lakh doses, which only lasts for two days. “Every day, we have to wait for the vaccine doses from the centres. Based on it, we have to decide for the vaccination drive. We have received a few doses on Wednesday afternoon, which can last until Friday,” he said.