Virar: A Virar municipal vaccination centre in Naringi witnessed a crowd of nearly 450 beneficiaries vying for a meagre stock of 75 free Covid-19 vaccine doses. Citizens, mostly senior citizens, queued up from Thursday midnight for Friday morning’s walk-in schedule. The centre had reserved another 75 doses for those with online appointments. The Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC) continues to face a severe scarcity of free vaccines, even as paid vaccines are easily available.
Citizens in the queue had brought sheets to sleep on the road, as they waited to be jabbed the next morning. Many of those who waited the entire night still went back without getting vaccinated. There was no response to calls and messages from the health department and medical officer Dr Surekha Walke.
Ravindra, who spent the night on the road, said, “Today is the second day that I will be waiting the whole night for my dose. Where else should I go?”
Beneficiaries said they fail to understand the easy availability of paid doses on the one hand and a dearth of free doses on the other. Locals said as doses are arriving in less numbers, only 17 centres are available and the VVMC has shut down 36 others. They said the doses are anyway divided into two lots, one for those with appointments and the other for walk-ins.
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