Updated: August 13, 2021 7:46:42 am
Rajesh Kamble, who works as a housekeeping staff in south Mumbai, spends over one hour on a BEST bus to reach his workplace, instead of a 20-minute train ride. Kamble, who has been waiting for local train services to resume, cannot access the facility as yet.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on August 8 had announced that fully vaccinated people, who have completed 14 days after receiving the second dose of the vaccine against Covid-19, will be allowed to travel in Mumbai suburban local trains from August 15.
Kamble (41) had taken the first dose of Covaxin on June 15 but has not managed to get the second dose yet. The gap between the two doses of Covaxin should be 28 days.
“There are only a few centres in Wadala that administer Covaxin. The doses are usually exhausted by early afternoon. I took Covaxin because the waiting period between two doses was less than Covisheild. But now, I am stuck. I cannot even get my railway pass,” said Kamble.
Of the estimated 96.7 lakh people above the age of 18 years, only 19.9 per cent are fully vaccinated in Mumbai. As many as 76.96 lakh people across all the age groups have received the first dose, among whom only 19.26 lakh have received both jabs.
In all, 1,45,761 people in the 18-44 age group have received both doses, while 8,16,283 in the 44-59 age groups are fully vaccinated.
The state government’s decision to allow fully vaccinated people to travel by local train has led to demands for consistent free vaccination drives in Mumbai, which is battling a short supply of doses.
In the first 12 days in August, over 300 government-run centres were functional only for six days. Vaccination centres are shut on Sunday. On Monday, government-run centres received merely 100 doses per centre – 50 doses each for first and second doses. By noon, most centres had exhausted the stock. Due to shortage, the centres were closed on Tuesday.
Even on the six days that the drive was conducted, not all centres functioned. Even as the BMC is preparing for the potential third wave, vaccination centres are increasingly running dry. While the monthly supply of vaccines increased, it has not been able to match the demand.
Vaccination centres were functional for 17 days in July, 25 days in June and 24 days in May. The BMC achieved a high vaccination target in June, when 21.59 lakh people were inoculated. In a day, 1.54 lakh doses were also administered — the highest single-day number of jabs given so far.
According to BMC officials, with 40,000 to 50,000 vaccine stock being made available every day, it is difficult to achieve the 1 lakh jab per day target. BMC data shows that 8,97,525 people would be eligible for a second dose in August. Of them, 21,495 will be eligible for the second dose on August 16, 72,499 on August 23, 80,278 on August 27 and 85,698 people on August
Till August 11, 4.72 lakhs people have been administered vaccines in Mumbai.
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