Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is now going to seek out the more than one lakh senior citizens who have not received even one Covid shot so far. The national immunisation drive was thrown open to seniors on March 1 this year. According to civic data, there are 11.50 lakh senior citizens in Mumbai, of whom 9.50 lakh have taken the first dose of the vaccine, while 4.50 lakh have been administered both doses so far. But around 1.50 lakh have yet to take the vaccine reportedly because they are afraid of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus if they do so or are skeptical about the efficacy of the vaccine.
The civic body also plans to collate data from the ‘My Family My Responsibility’ survey that was conducted last year. Civic and health officials believe citizens above 60 years of age are more susceptible to coronavirus and need to be vaccinated before the third wave.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said they had directed the medical officers in every ward to track down senior citizens who had not yet taken the vaccine and the reasons for their not coming forward to do so. “More than 80 per cent of senior citizens have taken vaccines, but still 1.50 lakh of them are hesitant to do so. Accordingly, our health officers will be visiting their houses, to make them understand the benefits of getting vaccinated - to fight against SARS-CoV-2 virus,” he said.
Kakani further said, citizens above 60 years of age are more vulnerable and hence, the urgency to ensure they are all vaccinated before a possible third wave strikes. “Since the pandemic outbreak, senior citizens have been badly impacted in both the first and second waves. So, to protect them from the third wave, getting them vaccinated with both doses are important now,” concluded Kakani.
Dr Prem Naganath Narsimhan, Consultant, Department Of Geriatric Medicine, said older adults are apprehensive about vaccination as they feel they might get the infection by taking the vaccine. Creating better awareness for older adults and their caregivers will give them more confidence to take their shots, he feels.
“It has been seen that those older adults who did not take the vaccine are at a greater risk of being severely affected by the disease and dying, as compared to those who have a fighting chance by taking it. The best solution is to gather knowledge about the vaccine from doctors and take an informed decision to take the vaccine, as it adds up to your immune system,” said Dr Narsimhan.