Updated: May 13, 2021 7:43:55 am
For just three days – from May 17 to May 19 – the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai will put on hold compulsory online booking for vaccine slots and permit walk-in registration for those above 60 years of age eligible for second dose of Covishield and Covaxin, people of all ages who are to get the second dose of Covaxin and the specially-abled. For these three days, no one would be administered first doses, the civic body announced on Wednesday.
The BMC asked people to access vaccination centres nearest to their homes or in their ward for walk-in registrations. It also said that vaccination centres will be shut on Sunday.
After announcing on Tuesday that it would continue with Covishield vaccinations for the 18 to 44 age group, the BMC said on Wednesday that it is halting all vaccinations for this group, after state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that all stock is being diverted towards administering second dose to the 45-plus age group in Maharashtra.
Many people have expressed anger and frustration at not being able to take their second jab even six to seven weeks after receiving their first shot. Many senior citizens have said the administration should prioritise vaccination of people due for the second dose and pause the drive for the 18 to 44 age group till vaccine supply is streamlined.
Except on May 17, 18, and 19, those above 45 years of age will have to book an appointments on CoWin app to get jabs in the 195 vaccination centres in Mumbai.
The BMC on Wednesday tweeted, “Slots for 45+ shall open after 9 PM tonight for booking to get vaccinated tomorrow (May 13). No walk-ins allowed.”
Tope said that the state’s vaccination drive for the 18 to 44 age group has been put on hold due to a “shortage of doses”. The BMC had started administering vaccines to this age group from May 1, beginning with five centres, which was later increased to 10.
Mumbai Guardian Minister Aaditya Thackeray, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal and Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani had on Tuesday met to discuss administering the second dose to those eligible, the strategy for better communication and booking of slots by people who are not tech-savvy.
“Looking at the limited supply of vaccines, it is crucial that we complete the prescribed second shot in the coming week for those who have gone past the prescribed gap between two vaccines,” tweeted Aaditya.
In the circular, Chahal said that one vaccination centre is being set up in each ward. He added that the working hours of the centres should be fixed based on the number of doses available for the day. Also, there should be at least 100 doses available at every booth, the circular said.
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