Mumbai: Chaos continues at COVID-19 vaccination centres
BL Soni

Four days after the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation started the COVID-19 vaccination drive for all above 45 years of age, the chaos at the centres continued. The civic body urged citizens not to wait at the centre if they don't have a token number. Limited stock was distributed at civic-run vaccination centres and only the second dose was administered to beneficiaries above 45 years of age, including frontline workers (FLWs) and healthcare workers (HCWs).

On Tuesday morning, the medical staff at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) jumbo vaccination centre had to face the brunt of the beneficiaries after the vaccine stock dried up. Beneficiaries questioned the mismanagement of the civic body and stated that the shortage should have been updated on its official website. “We can understand there is a huge shortage of vaccines. First priority is being given to the beneficiaries whose second dose is left. However, the civic body needs to keep the public informed. For instance, only these many people will be vaccinated like they are doing for beneficiaries between 18 and 44 years of age,” said Ramesh Nirmal, a resident of Mahim.

According to the vaccination data, 8,173 registered beneficiaries were vaccinated on Tuesday, of which 2,360 were between 18 and 44 years of age, while the remaining were above 45 years. However, so far, 24.86 lakh beneficiaries have been vaccinated in Mumbai since the mass vaccination drive started in January.

People said they had to inquire at various vaccine centres as to whether or not they had vaccine stock. Most centres are out of stock and beneficiaries are forced to return. “I had reached the VN Desai vaccine centre at 7.30am, only to have them put up a board, saying only the first 50 will get the vaccine, as they have run out of stock. The rest must return again. It seems the BMC is making a joke out of us. We wait for two to three hours in line, only to be asked to go back due to stock unavailability. Then, we have to run to another centre,” said Sameer Shaikh, a resident of Andheri.

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC, said they have received around 1.50 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine, of which 50,000 doses are of Covaxin, which has been distributed to civic-run vaccine centres. Moreover, beneficiaries above 45 years of age should visit the centres only if they have registered and have got the slot for the vaccination. “We will be distributing the vaccines to civic-run centres due to which the drive will start post 12 pm. Moreover, on Tuesday, the vaccine stock dried up at some of the centres, as there was very limited stock due to which beneficiaries had to face problems and return without taking vaccine shots,” he said.

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