With the aim to administer the first dose of the Covid vaccine to all eligible beneficiaries in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to organise vaccination camps in all 24 wards.
This comes after the civic body received a good response in the last two days when more than one lakh beneficiaries have been jabbed. As per the statistics, more than 97 per cent of the eligible population have taken the first dose, while nearly 60 per cent have taken both doses.
Civic officials said they need to speed up the pace of the vaccination drive with such camps. Additional municipal commissioner, Suresh Kakani said, there are more than three lakh beneficiaries whose second dose is due, which is why they have decided to set up vaccine camps at ward level.
Moreover, the BMC has nearly 4.5 lakh doses in stock which can be used for administering the second dose. Kakani further said they have three-lakh-plus names from the CoWin portal and plans to reach out to each one to find out why they haven’t taken the second shot despite it being overdue. For this, they have been contacting everyone through the ward-war room.
A senior public health department doctor said the list has 3.84 lakh names. The initiative is a part of the civic body’s all-out plan to complete the ‘last mile’ of the Covid vaccination drive. So far, from 500 vaccination centres set across Mumbai, 1.5 crore shots (92.04 lakh first shots and 58.62 lakh second shots) have been given out.
Various reasons have been cited for not taking the second shot, like the presumption that one dose is adequate and the fear of side effects from the second dose. “As known, after inoculation, some develop minor side effects like fever and body ache.
This often discourages them from taking the second shot. But having minor health issues are good signs which indicate that the vaccine is effective,” said the Dean of Lokmanya Tilak General Hospital, Dr Mohan Joshi. With multiple mutations of Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, doctors insist on taking the second dose as, at present, it is the only protective shield to fight against the pandemic.
“No vaccine provides 100% protection but it has been observed that infection among people with two shots has been mild. The death rate among the fully vaccinated beneficiaries is limited across the state. Though, we still don’t know how the present vaccines would be effective on the mutated viruses, but, skipping the second dose won’t do any help,” said Dr Rahul Pandit, part of the Covid-19 task force