In order to speed up the vaccination drive, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has decided to inoculate senior citizens with the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, and order 10,000 doses from Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories. Dr. Reddy’s has the sole distribution rights of the first 250 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in India.
However, the civic body requires state government permission to inoculate vaccines procured by itself as the central government is providing vaccines free of cost. Abhijit Bangar, the municipal commissioner said, “We have contacted the state government for clarification. We will proceed after confirmation from them.”
Bangar added that the civic body has planned to vaccinate the maximum number of citizens by July-end as the possible third wave of COVID may hit by August-September. “We are not getting an adequate number of vaccines and most of the vaccine centres are closed now,” said Bangar. He added that only one or two days the vaccines last and the remaining days, most of the centres are closed.
The civic body is getting around 8,000 to 10,000 doses per week which hardly lasts for one or two days. “We have the capacity to vaccinate around 10,000 people per day. But due to lack of availability, the number of vaccinations is very low,” said Bangar. So, a total of 5,78,538 citizens have been vaccinated till July 07 and 1,40,162 citizens have taken the second dose of Covid vaccine.
At present, the civic body has ordered only 10,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V COVID vaccine and it will increase the order as per the response. “We will also have to check the acceptability of the vaccine and storage facilities. The Sputnik vaccine requires minus 20 degrees to store,” said Bangar. The civic body is paying Rs 970 including taxes per dose. “We are expecting that we will get the first consignment of 10,000 doses within 10 days,” added Bangar.
A couple of private hospitals including Dr. DY Patil Hospital in Nerul in the city have also started giving the Sputnik V vaccine and they are getting a good response. “We have inoculated all the staff and doctors, and now open for the common public,” said a senior official from Dr. D Y Patil Hospital, Nerul. However, vaccination at private hospitals is paid.