Mumbai: Tempers fly high as over 20 vax centres run out of stock

More than 20 Covid vaccine centres had run out of the vaccine stock on Wednesday. They had to shut down their centres following which chaotic situation continued for the third time in a row. However senior citizens had to face the problem as they had to wait in a queue since morning and had to return without taking vaccine shots.

BMC officials said that currently they don’t have vaccine stock. Only those centres are functional, who have few doses left with them. Senior citizens urged BMC to share list of vaccination centres that are active and how many doses they can give in a single.

Suresh Kakani, BMC additional commissioner said they had received 80,000 doses on Tuesday which were distributed to the centres. Most of the centres ran out of stock. Only a few centres are conducting the drive. “There is a possibility that more vaccine centres will be non-functional today (April 29). Moreover, 40 private vaccine centres will also not conduct vaccination drives due to unavailability of stock. We are expecting few doses by tonight, which will be distributed to civic and government-run centres,” he said.

The vaccination for those above 18 years of age will be only conducted if they have an adequate stock of vaccine doses. The vaccination drive was suspended at the Bandra Kurla Complex-jumbo vaccine centre and Dahisar jumbo centres. Hundreds of upset senior citizens had to bear the brunt of the afternoon heat and return home without a jab.

The BKC Jumbo vaccination centre signboard on Wednesday said: “Vaccine out of stock.” As a large number of people gathered outside, the staff asked people to first call the helpline before coming to the centre.

“No one responds on the helpline. This is the fourth time I have come here for the vaccine but haven’t received it,” said a visibly upset citizen.

The civic body in its list highlighted that 40 centres will administer vaccines to beneficiaries till stocks last. However, when senior citizens reached the centres, the vaccine stock got over within a couple of hours. “I have come from Kalina with my wife. I spent money to come here. It’s such a waste for poor people. On one hand, they say come for the vaccine and then they aren’t ready,” complained an elderly couple.

Another couple from Santa Cruz said they did not know that the vaccination centre wasn’t working. “I did not get any message or phone call on my phone. I don’t know when BMC will announce the vaccine availability. Now, what can we do? Will return and come again.”

Some beneficiaries took to social media to share a similar experience at other vaccination centres. "I just visited Seven Hills Hospital to get my dose of Covishield but found that the security guard was turning people away, as there is no stock of vaccine. How can that be possible before the starting session (scheduled at 9 am)? Hopeless management" tweeted Rakesh Kumar Gupta.

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Free Press Journal