January 24, 2021 7:43:07 pm
The ongoing immunisation process will speed up with over 2 lakh vaccinations planned for the entire week. State officials have set a deadline of February 12 to finish the first round of vaccination of 7.58 lakh health workers. The number of centres have increased from 285 to 511 but these will be restricted to primary health centres, rural, district hospitals and medical colleges. Private hospitals have not been included in the vaccination sites.
Maharashtra vaccinated 99,242 health workers on January 23. Of them, 1,572 received Covaxin doses. On Monday, the state will cross a lakh vaccinations. In absolute numbers, Mumbai is leading with maximum number of inoculations, with 12,159 followed by Thane (9040), Pune (8251) and Nagpur (4767). But in terms of turnout, Mumbai, Thane and Pune are much lower in the state performance. Hingoli, Amravati and Dhule are leading with maximum turnout of health workers so far.
To increase the turnout, the Association of Hospitals (AOH) has reached out to the state government to start vaccination camps in private and charitable hospitals so that more private health workers turn up for inocultation. The AOH is a group of 53 Trust Hospitals in Mumbai and Pune.
“With many states partnering with private hospitals in a similar Health Care Worker (HCW) vaccination drive, Mumbai too should take the hospital frontline HCW as partners in the HCW drive. The current method of individual hospitals having to send HCWs on-demand to vaccination centers is further burdening the hospital system, as we have to pull them out of their roles and send them to the BMC-allocated vaccination centers,” said AOH President Gautam Khanna.
The AOH said they can help bring down the cost of vaccination by utilising their own consumables like syringes and gloves. Khanna added that the hospitals can undertake vaccination on their premises under the supervision of government officials.
“We have sent e-mails to private hospitals to check how many are willing to hold vaccination camps within their premises and what is the preparation they have. Based on that we may include few private hospitals as vaccination sites,” said BMC Executive Health Officer Dr Mangala Gomare.
In Mumbai, there will be 72 vaccinators on Monday, up from 40 until last week. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to immunise 7,200 health workers in a day if the turnout is 100 per cent. “We will be running one shift for now. We can later double the shifts, if needed,” Gomare said.
In Chandrapur, district health officer Dr Raj Gehlot said after initial hesitancy, health workers, including ASHA staff and auxiliary nurse midwives, have started stepping out to get vaccinated.
“On Friday, we noted more than 90 per cent turnout, by Saturday it was 80 per cent. Health workers are eager to get vaccinated as only Covishield is being administered here,” Gehlot added.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra has also begun the process of uploading data of frontline workers on Co-WIN software. State officials estimate there are 20 lakh frontline workers, such as municipal staff, police, defence, BEST drivers and conductors and security personnel, who are eligible for the second phase of vaccination. In Mumbai, the data of over one lakh frontline workers have already been uploaded.
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