March 24, 2021 12:21:40 pm
With increasing demand for Covid-19 vaccination leading to long queues at the centres, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to keep five of its vaccination centres open for 24 hours to administer vaccines to frontline workers.
As on March 23, 33,310 frontline workers got the first dose and the second dose was administered to 3,350 since February 8. However, 1,21,347 frontline workers in the city are waiting to get vaccinated.
“The surge of Covid-19 patients across the city has led to increased demand of vaccination by eligible citizens mainly the senior citizens and comorbid above 45 years age. Thus, there is crowding at the vaccination centres which is causing delay for frontline workers to take their jabs. We have issued orders to start a 24 hour vaccination facility at five centres for inoculating frontline workers,” said a civic health officer.
The frontline workers have to report for duty everyday and have to take time out to get vaccinated as per the scheduled appointment, but they have to wait for long hours for their turn, he said.
Moreover, many of the frontline workers, including the staff of PMC, have been reluctant to take the vaccine inoculated due to fear of the side-effects and non-sanction of leave due to the pandemic, the civic officer said.
Additional municipal commissioner Rubal Agarwal recently declared that the civic body will not accord any benefits to civic staff contracting Covid-19 if they do not get inoculated.
Meanwhile, the PMC has been receiving requests from many state and union government offices to include their staff in the frontline workers list for vaccination so that their offices function normally.
According to civic officers, the frontline workers are going to face further problems once vaccination is open from all above 45 years age in the city. “The frontline workers had to wait to get vaccinated due to rush at vaccination centres. Now, the rush would increase after April 1 when the vaccination is open for all above 45 years age,” he said, adding the PMC is trying to increase more vaccination centres by allowing smaller hospitals to become part of the drive.
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