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Friday, January 28, 2022

1.8 lakh jabbed in state, Mumbai behind other cities

Mumbai lagged behind other cities which recorded a better turnout. For instance, Thane administered 20,865 vaccinations among children followed by Pune with 17,583 inoculations.

Written by Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai |
Updated: January 4, 2022 8:16:07 am
BMC additional commissioner Suresh Kakani said they had set aside only nine centres for vaccination as per the directives of Covid task force. "Now, we will gradually add more centres which will help in increasing vaccination among children," he added. (Representational)

The first day of Covid vaccination of the age group of 15-18 years saw 1,81,561 children in Maharashtra, including 6,115 in Mumbai, get inoculated with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin at 650 vaccination centres across the state.

BMC additional commissioner Suresh Kakani said they had set aside only nine centres for vaccination as per the directives of Covid task force. “Now, we will gradually add more centres which will help in increasing vaccination among children,” he added.

Mumbai lagged behind other cities which recorded a better turnout. For instance, Thane administered 20,865 vaccinations among children followed by Pune with 17,583 inoculations.

Talking to The Indian Express, Dahisar resident and Class XII student Sakshi Gada was among the first few to get jabbed at Dahisar jumbo centre. “I am going to appear for board exams which will be offline so it is important to get vaccinated in time.”

Aditi Kanojia from Borivali, also a student of Class XII, was glad she got the jab. “With the growing cases of Covid-19, our parents have been worried about us as we were unvaccinated. I hope this will provide some relief to them,” she said.

Meanwhile, those who had booked their slot on the Co-WIN app were given priority over those who opted for walk-in vaccination. The local civic-run schools brought their students to the vaccination centre in batches of 50 each. After vaccination, children took selfies. While waiting in the queue, they shared how the pandemic has changed their lives, also impacting their mental health and social activities.

“It was a traumatic experience for us when schools were shut first. Initially, we thought it would get over soon but we didn’t expect the pandemic to last nearly two years. Even as the schools have reopened, we aren’t allowed to play in the ground like pre-Covid days. Things have changed for us forever,” said 16-year-old Goregaon resident Sunita Arora.

In the last few weeks, a large number of children have been reported to have contracted Omicron in the US. As reported, data from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the seven-day-average daily hospitalisations among children between Dec 21-27 surged up to 58% nationwide compared to the previous week. “Covid Infection rate has definitely increased in paediatric population as compared to the second wave. Mostly, teen and pre-teen individuals who have not been vaccinated and thus lack protective antibodies, are getting infected. However, the trend is not alarming and young patients have mild symptoms,” said Dr Hemlata Arora, senior consultant, infectious diseases, Nanavati Hospital.

In the second wave, the number of infections among children surged by 104% compared to that of the first wave. As per data accessed by The Indian Express, between March-December 2020, 67,110 children of the 0-10 age group contracted Covid-19 in Maharashtra which surged to 1,36,975 in the second wave between January-August. But the fatality remained constant at 0.16%.

Meanwhile, state health minister Rajesh Tope, talking to reporters in Jalna, emphasised on initiating vaccination of those in the 12-15 age group. “The Centre should allow vaccination for younger children to tackle the spread of the virus,” he said.

Till Sunday, the state had 50 lakh Covaxin vials to inoculate children. However, reports were circulating on social media that vaccination centres were given expired vials. A senior health official said, “We have instructed private hospitals to check the expiry of vials.”

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