Vaccination drive in Mumbai:Dharavi hesitant to come forward for inoculation

With a capacity to vaccinate 1,000 beneficiaries in a day, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had set up a vaccination centre close to the slum pockets of Dharavi. However, civic officials said the even after a month the number of people taking the vaccine from slum pockets across the city is less than desirable.

As the number of beneficiaries turning out for vaccinations has not been reaching the target set by the local ward office, it seems residents of Dharavi slums have turned their back to the vaccination. This trend has left the BMC officials worried as the number of cases reported daily from the ward/ area continues to rise.

Currently apart from tracing cases, treating patients, and isolating maximum Covid-19 patients and their high-risk contacts BMC is looking at vaccination of residents as one of the major deterrents in keeping coronavirus outbreak at bay. With a vaccination centre near the slum pockets, the civic body aims to increase the number of people willing to register for the jabs.

At present, vaccination turnout is largely limited to middle and higher-income groups. Slum turnout has been low due to poor awareness, lack of time for slum dwellers to wait in the queue, and vaccine hesitancy in some pockets.

The number of beneficiaries vaccinated on April 03 was 441, which dropped to 170 on April 04. On April 05 and April 06 the number of beneficiaries turnout at the Dharavi vaccination centre was 390 and 330 respectively.

Dharavi on Tuesday recorded 62 new coronavirus cases. On Monday, the count of fresh cases was 47. The number of daily cases remained below 30 after September, with zero new cases for a few days in December. The total number of active cases in the slum-dominated area currently stands at 850.

"Vaccination is getting good response from the higher-income groups. But from areas like slums and chawls, people are not very serious and do not give importance to vaccination. We are trying to create awareness and getting them to come forward and take the vaccine jabs. Our staff is going door to door and explaining to the people about vaccination," said Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G (North) ward (Dharavi, Mahim, Dadar).

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