The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced on Thursday that it was suspending the vaccination drive in the city for the next three days, starting Friday, due to inadequate stock.
In an official statement issued on Thursday evening, the civic body said that insufficient vaccine supply was causing it to run out of stock in a short span of time.
The civic body also said that for the time being, preference for inoculation would be given to the 45-plus group of beneficiaries who had already received their first dose and were due for their second. The civic body also said that vaccination for the 18-44 years age group would not begin anytime soon, because of short supply.
“The demand for the vaccine has increased whereas we are not getting adequate stocks. For the time being, we are monitoring the situation at microscopic level, for which we have decided to suspend vaccination for next three days,” Dr Mangala Gomare, civic executive officer, public health, told The Free Press Journal.
Furthermore, the BMC, in its statement added that were it to receive adequate supply of stock in the next three days, this information would be disseminated through its official social media platforms.
Presently, there are 136 active vaccination centres in Mumbai, of which 63 are civic- and state-run facilities and 73 are private facilities. The civic body has already written to the Union Government to expand the number of private facilities to 100.
Gomare also pointed out that when stocks were replenished, vaccination would start first at government- and civic-run facilities.
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“Considering the crisis, the private hospitals and dispensaries will have to make their own arrangements for the time being,” she added.
The BMC has also mentioned that henceforth, only the registered beneficiaries will be vaccinated and has appealed to citizens to not crowd at vaccination centres.
“For the time being, vaccination of beneficiaries above 18 years of age will not start in Mumbai unless we get adequate stock. A lot of people are due for their second doses and vaccinating those above 45 years of age and senior citizens is our utmost priority for the time being,” stated Gomare.
Earlier on Thursday, Additional Municipal Commissioner Ashwini Bhide took to Twitter to urge 45-plus citizens to not crowd and stand in long queues outside vaccination centres in Mumbai.
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Bhide assured that all 45+ beneficiaries would get vaccinated even after the rollout of the new phase and that Mumbaikars should not be under the misconception that they will not get their doses as vaccination for all adults would begin.
“Even when new drive for 18-44 year age group starts, the centres available now will continue to remain active for 45+ years citizens. BMC will add at least 500 more public & Pvt CVCs fr new drive. So vaccination for 45+ shall not be compromised OR slowed down,” tweeted Bhide.
“Besides, vaccination for the new age group will start only after enough vaccines are made available, and not exactly on 1st May. So senior citizens need not worry that once the new drive starts they will be deprived of vaccination,” she further said.