The trial run for vaccination in Mumbai went off smoothly barring glitches in the Co-Win app, the digitised platform for the vaccine rollout which contains data of the health officials who will be the first in line to be vaccinated.
Across three centres in Dr RN Cooper hospital, BKC jumbo facility and Rajawadi hospital, 75 beneficiaries underwent a mock vaccination run-in. Meanwhile, state officials said that they are expecting the first batch of the vaccine to be delivered by next week. The rollout, however, could take some time as they will have to prepare the desired logistics for distribution.
Dr Vidya Thakur, medical superintendent in Rajawadi hospital, said in the Friday dry run, they experienced software-related issues. “It was taking time for the app to upload data, sometimes the connection to server was slow. We have reported these technical difficulties to head office,” she said.
In Cooper hospital, where a model vaccination centre has been set up, there are three vaccination rooms with 10 booths, a post vaccine waiting area to house over 50, and a separate intensive care room to admit those with anaphylactic reaction. “We will station an anaesthetist and a physician at all times during vaccination here,” said Dr Sunil Gwalani, head of anaesthesia in Cooper hospital.
The temporary ICU has ventilator, defibrillator, and emergency kit to give adrenaline shot in case of anaphylactic reaction. “It is very rare for adverse events post vaccination. In case there is severe reaction, we need to act immediately. Anaphylactic reaction could block breathing of person. Once stabilised we may shift the person to main hospital,” Gwalani said.
Doctors from the hospital said in the initial days of vaccination senior doctors will take rounds to monitor the process. “It is the first time a new vaccine is being rolled out for adult immunisation. For measles and rubella we did not require such strict monitoring,” a senior doctor said.
Dr Sophia Fernandes, from community medicine department, said in case a health worker misses out on first or second dose due to unforeseen reasons, he can reach out to local ward office to get the next date. “The Co-WIN app can only be managed by registered vaccinators. Health workers who miss their shot can either approach their hospital administrations or local ward,” Fernandes said. According to dean Dr Pinakin Gujjar, the hospital can vaccinate 2,000 people a day.
Earlier this week central Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said immunisation process is expected to roll out by January 13 across the entire country. Before the actual process begins, random batches of vaccines have to be tested for quality checks. Maharashtra officials said they are yet to get a confirmed date for distribution of vaccines. State Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said immunisation procedure may start from January 16 or 17, that is 14 days after the central government announced restricted approval to two vaccines of Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India.
“The government has sent iced line refrigerators. We have distributed them in medical colleges and in Parel health office. We have enough vaccine carriers. We are ready to start vaccination. We have been told the vaccines will be transported soon but when we still do not know,” said Dr Sheela Jagtap, BMC vaccination officer.
Once the vaccine stock arrives, BMC officials said they will activate the Co-WIN app to send messages and schedule appointment with beneficiaries. Across four medical colleges, two lakh vaccine doses can be stored. In addition, F-South ward health office and Kanjurmarg facility will be nodal storage centres.
Mayor Kishori Pednekar visited BKC jumbo facility on Friday to see the mock vaccination drive. The jumbo facility has dedicated a major part of MMRDA constructed hangar for immunisation process. There are 15 booths for vaccination and seven registration desks. A help centre has been set up to answer frequently asked questions about vaccination. A separate area has been demarcated with seven beds for beneficiaries who may suffer adverse reaction following immunisation. Doctors from Asian Heart Institute have been roped in to manage them. “We have kept IV fluids, steroids, ventilator, adrenaline shots, syringes and entire ICU set-up ready to stabilise patients here,” a doctor said requesting anonymity.
At entry security guard Mohamed Zafar said once the vaccination drive starts only those with their names registered on Co-WIN app and with scheduled appointment will be allowed to enter.
BMC has selected nine hospitals for vaccination of health workers. In a day 8,000-12,000 people will be vaccinated.
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