Mumbai: Experts suggest separate vax registration for city’s youth

Amid the ongoing shortage of vaccines across the city, doctors and health experts have once again raised a demand of having a dedicated application for the vaccine registration process of people who are 18 years and above. The registration for vaccination for them will start from April 28.

They have also raised concerns about vaccine stock-outs as the size of the population to be vaccinated is huge. Officials said they should be proper SOP to vaccinate all above 18 years of age to avoid any kind of chaos at the vaccine centre. Moreover, there is a need for a separate application for the registration process in Mumbai for a smooth and hassle-free vaccine drive.

Suresh Kakani, BMC additional commissioner said they target of vaccinating 80 lakh recipients over the age of 18 years, for which they will be preparing a new Standard Of Procedure (SOP). However, they have not planned to develop any new dedicated application for vaccine registration. “In January before the vaccination drive started they had sent a proposal to have a dedicated application for Mumbai but the Central government rejected it stating they have to use CoWin portal. It created problems and we are still facing issues. We will hold a meeting next week in which all decisions will be taken,” he said.

Senior health officials said that keeping in mind the volume of people that will be eligible for vaccination from May 1, it will be advisable to consider another option, apart from CoWin portal for registration? As has been seen in the past, the portal has not been able to sustain traffic and has time and again gone offline, forcing people to walk into centres for manual registration. “Under these circumstances should the State government come up with an alternative plan or develop an app for smooth registration?” he said.

The BMC aims to have 500 vaccination centres in the city in the coming months, as vaccination for everyone above 18 years of age starts from May 1. Health Experts said that if the civic body is not able to meet the vaccine demand of the 45-plus age-group, how will they manage the demand for the extended population? Also, if there is no substantially increased production of vaccines, it will only add to the chaos. “The procurement should be decentralized so that the civic body should provide adequate vaccine for the hassle-free and smooth process of vaccination drive,” he said.

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