Updated: August 5, 2021 7:27:33 pm
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday informed the Bombay High Court that out of 4,715 bedridden and immobile persons registered for home vaccinations in the city, 602 have already been inoculated at their residences since the pilot drive in the regard began from the K-East ward on July 30.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a PIL by city-based lawyers Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari, seeking directions to the Centre, state government and the BMC to provide door-to-door vaccination to people aged above 75 years, disabled persons and the bedridden.
On July 20, the HC noted that there is “some light at the end of the tunnel” after the state government informed the court its decision to formulate a policy for home vaccination for the bedridden and immobile persons.
On Thursday, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni placed before the court a finalised “state policy for Covid-19 vaccination for bedridden and immobile persons” and said the drive has started and till date “it is more or less successful”.
The policy says beneficiaries shall get Covaxin doses, although there may be a constraint in its availability.
Advocate Kapadia said there are certain areas where improvements can be made and also expressed reservations about NGOs being asked to participate in the home vaccination process. She said, as per the policy, private doctors are to certify that a beneficiary is not likely to have AEFI (Adverse Event Following Immunization) but in absence or unavailability of such doctors, the corporation should send its doctors to ensure the same.
She also said all bedridden persons may not possess ID cards issued by the government and the issue should be addressed. Kapadia said a helpline number should be provided for registration for home vaccination.
The court asked her to forward her suggestions to the state government counsel.
“If a beginning has been made, let the initiative continue for 7-8 days. There may be some teething troubles,” the HC remarked.
Senior advocate Anil Sakhare, appearing for BMC, informed the bench that the civic authority has been successfully conducting home vaccination drives across its wards and two-member teams, which includes a nurse and a doctor, visits the beneficiaries along with an ambulance to inoculate them. The doctor also undertakes 30-minute post-vaccination observation to ascertain AEFIs.
The court directed BMC to file a short affidavit indicating the total number of bedridden people vaccinated in its area by Wednesday, August 11 and also asked it to indicate the exact role of NGOs in home vaccination drives undertaken by it. The court will hear the PIL next on August 12.L next on August 12.
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