Mumbai: Private hospitals buzz with calls to hold COVID-19 vaccination drive
Bhushan Koyande

Private hospitals in Mumbai say they have been receiving at least 20 to 25 calls daily from housing societies and corporate offices to organise COVID-19 vaccination camps in their premises. While some hospitals have shown interest, the availability of vaccines remains a challenge.

BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had recently issued detailed guidelines for vaccination drives to be held with the help of private COVID-19 vaccination centres (PCVC) at workplaces and housing societies having a sufficient number of willing beneficiaries. “This is going to be the way forward as and when the stock of vaccines is available. Housing societies and corporates can tie up with PCVCs and get their staff and residents vaccinated,” said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner (health), BMC.

As per the policy, one PCVC can be linked with one or more workplaces or housing societies. However, information about the same will need to be given to the local ward office. Vaccination will be done on a payment basis. The price per jab will have to be mutually decided by the PCVC and the respective workplace and housing society.

A senior doctor from a private hospital said they have been receiving a very limited stock of vaccine doses. Therefore, they are restricting the number of beneficiaries daily. “We had asked for 10,000 doses of Covaxin, but were only able to get 2,500 doses. So, we decided to only vaccinate 50 people a day. Although we can vaccinate more people, we want to restrict it to 50, so that people who have taken the first dose at our hospital can get the second dose as well,” he said.

Officials from Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital said they have enough stock to vaccinate beneficiaries for a month. However, they are only administering Covishield. “We have around 20,000 to 25,000 doses of Covishield. We are administering around 1,000 doses daily. Beneficiaries have been strictly asked to book slots on the CoWIN portal to get the jabs,” he said.

Meanwhile, Breach Candy Hospital and Jaslok Hospital have also procured vaccines from the manufacturer and have started vaccinating beneficiaries. Santosh Shetty, COO, Kokilaben Hospital, said nearly 10 societies have applied to the hospital to organise the vaccination drive. They have been asked to submit the details on the preparations they have done in their premises to hold the drive. “We have asked them to make separate arrangements for vaccination, registration counter and recovery room if they want the vaccination drive to be held at their society. We have also asked them to specify how many beneficiaries will be there for the drive. We will be taking BMC’s permission before conducting the drive,” he said.

Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant physician at Bombay Hospital, said they have received more than 60 calls from housing societies and corporate offices to conduct vaccination drives in their premises. However, they have not received their vaccine consignment so far. “So far, I have received 30 calls from societies and 30 calls from corporate offices for the vaccination drive. Our staff, ambulance and other equipment is ready. However, at the moment, we are waiting for the vaccine. We will get the vaccine by the weekend, after which we will start the drive,” he said.

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