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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Mumbai: Few districts begin vaccinating frontline workers, others to follow suit today

Several districts said they are awaiting clarity on the future batch of vaccines before undertaking vaccination of frontline workers, while some are waiting for the complete data on frontline workers to be uploaded onto the Co-WIN portal.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
February 4, 2021 9:02:23 am
UP covid vaccine, UP covid vaccination, UP covid vaccination drive, indian express newsThe country must also continue to prioritize testing, tracing, masks, hand hygiene and social distancing norms continue to be prioritized. (File)

Vaccination of frontline workers remained haphazard in the state, with eight districts immunising a total of 729 frontline workers on Wednesday. Most workers who were vaccinated were working in the collector’s office or part of the municipal staff.

In Beed, deputy collector Pravin Dharamkar was among the first in the district to get vaccinated. “Frontline workers must step forward for a vaccine jab when their turn comes. I got a message for vaccination and I went for it first thing in the morning. I experienced no adverse reaction,” he said. Dr Radhakishan Pawar, district health officer in Beed, said they sent messages to few frontline workers and health workers regarding the vaccination drive. “Several employees from the collector office came forward to get vaccinated,” he said.

Of 35,889 people who got vaccinated across Maharashtra, 35,096 were health workers and 793 were frontline workers. Dr Archana Patil, Director, Family Welfare, Directorate of Health Services in the state, said they hope to streamline and start the process in other districts by Thursday.

In Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) conducted a trial run on Wednesday to detect possible hiccups. Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said BMC will start vaccination of a limited number of frontline workers from Thursday. “In the trial run, some got the message, some didn’t. We have 15 vaccination centres, and each will vaccinate 100 frontline workers for now, apart from the usual number of health workers,” Kakani said.

“We have expanded our vaccination booths for five to ten to accommodate more people in Nair hospital,” said Dr RN Bharmal, Dean, Nair Hospital.

In Sindhudurg, Dr Mahesh Khalipe, district health officer said he hopes to start vaccination of frontline workers from Thursday. In Osmanabad, frontline workers will be immunised starting Thursday. Dr Kuldeep Mitkari, district officer monitoring vaccination process, said he sent messages to 521 front line workers in Osmanabad on Wednesday afternoon to schedule their appointments for Thursday. “We have six vaccination sites where we will immunise them,” he said.

Several districts said they are awaiting clarity on the future batch of vaccines before undertaking vaccination of frontline workers, while some are waiting for the complete data on frontline workers to be uploaded onto the Co-WIN portal.

Immunisation was to have been undertaken in a phase-wise manner, starting with health workers, followed by front line workers like police, municipal staff, defence personnel, state transport drivers, and revenue officials in the second phase.

In third phase, high-risk citizens and senior citizens would be immunised. Dr Nitin Kapse, district health officer in Gondia, said he has 8,500 health workers registered, of whom 50 per cent have been given their first dose. “I have to ensure I have two doses per person. I am yet to start vaccinating frontline workers as I have no clarity on when more doses will come. If the state informs us that next batch will be distributed soon, we will begin vaccination of the police force.” A total of 2,900 police officers have registered in Gondia to get the vaccine.

In Sangli, Taluka health officer Dr Saket Patil said the data of all frontline workers will be uploaded by the weekend.

The state had set a target of February 12 for all districts to achieve complete immunisation of health workers. However, it has managed to vaccinate only 47 per cent of its targeted population of health workers in last 19 days. Maharashtra has 7.58 lakh health workers and an estimated 20 lakh front line workers, said N Ramaswamy, Director, National Health Mission.

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