January 28, 2021 1:56:00 am
From 48.5 per cent turnout recorded on first day of vaccine rollout, Mumbai touched 68 per cent turnout on Wednesday, improving from just 1,226 to 5,197 between January 16 and January 27. Maharashtra too has seen an improvement in turnout, from 64.3 to 77 per cent in same period.
On Wednesday 5,197 health workers (68 per cent) got vaccinated against target of 7,200 in Mumbai. Across Maharashtra 41,470 health workers were vaccinated, 77 per cent of intended target of 53,900. So far, Maharashtra has inoculated 1.78 lakh people. The improvement in daily vaccination numbers has come after state increased number of vaccination sites to 528 from 285 until last week, and permitted healthcare workers registered on Co-WIN portal, but not scheduled for vaccination, to walk in any time between 9 am till 5 pm for their shot.
Several vaccination centres are recording more walk-in healthcare workers stepping up for vaccination than those with scheduled appointment. Centres in Mumbai said about 50 per cent of their vaccination numbers are of those doctors, nurses and paramedics who simply walk into the centre.
“There are people registered on Co-WIN portal but are not scheduled for vaccination appointment as per our list. We are seeing 50 per cent of our vaccinations on account of them. Very few scheduled for inoculation are turning up,” said Dr R N Bharmal, dean in Nair hospital. BMC has also added Seven Hills hospital as a vaccination site to increase centres in city. Mumbai now has 11 centres for vaccination with 72 vaccinators, including JJ hospital that serves as Covaxin site. JJ hospital, however, recorded only 18 recipients for Covaxin out of 100 scheduled on list.
Mumbai civic officials said they are unsure whether text messages to schedule vaccination appointment are delivered to all health workers by Co-WIN so each health worker is given a phone call on their designated day of vaccination by 24 ward offices. “But several refuse and in a lot of cases we find the numbers registered on Co-WIN are wrong. Right now we don’t have enough time to reach out to individual hospitals to recheck details of health workers, we may do it at a later stage,” said Dr Sheela Jagtap, immunisation officer in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Jagtap added that the immunisation numbers are still low if turnout based on those scheduled for the day are counted. “Most of those who get vaccinated are ones walking into the centre, not ones registered for the day,” Jagtap said. Civic officials also said private health workers are coming in larger numbers for vaccination than government health workers.
Mumbai is vaccinating 70-90 per cent of intended target in a day. “Some health workers don’t want to get vaccinated. When our ward office calls, they refuse,” Jagtap said.
In Rajawadi hospital, superintendent Dr Vidya Thakur said mostly private health workers, registered on Co-WIN app, visit their centre for walk-in vaccination. In Kandivali Shatabdi hospital too, superintendent Dr Pratima Patil said walk-in vaccination form bulk of inoculations in a day. “Earlier there were issues with software but now even that is sorted. We don’t understand why registered health workers are not turning up. But we vaccinate who ever visits us and has his name listed on the software,” Patil said.
Dr Pinakin Gujjar, dean in Dr RN Cooper hospital, said on Wednesday 456 of 1,000 people scheduled at hospital’s vaccination centre were vaccinated. “Maximum people turn up during morning hours. Private health workers seem more eager perhaps because they are not sure if they will get a shot later. Government health workers seem to be at ease assuming they will get a chance to get vaccinated if they miss one now,” Gujjar said.
Meanwhile, the Kanjurmarg storage facility will be ready in few days and entire vaccine stock will be shifted there. Currently the vaccine stock is stored in F South ward office in Parel.
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