February 16, 2021 12:10:33 pm
The Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) ambitious plan to vaccinate the entire city population of 44,61,120 in 92 working days got off to a slow start with only 27,444 of the registered 55,588 healthcare workers vaccinated so far in a month.
The nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16, with healthcare workers getting the shot in phase-1 followed by frontline workers. The next phase will cover comorbid patients as well as those above 50 years age.
The PMC administration prepared a detailed plan to innoculate 55,588 healthcare workers in eight working days, 1,21,347 frontline workers in 10 working days, 1,64,000 comorbid in 12 working days, 9,32,718 citizens with over 50 years age in 16 working days and the remaining population of 31,87,467 in 46 working days.
Since the launch of drive a month ago, the PMC only managed to administer the first dose of the vaccine to only 27,444 healthcare workers and 687 frontline workers.
On Monday, it started administering the second dose but only 89 healthcare workers received it.
“It is true we are lagging behind the target set but there are multiple reasons on not able to achieve the target. There was reluctance from the beneficiaries and the technical problems in the software application CoWin have added in delaying of the drive,” said Ashish Bharati, head of civic health department.
The PMC had planned to start the drive with 100 vaccination booths but due to technical problems the booths were restricted to eight in the initial days of drive, he said, adding that the number of booths are now being increased. “There are 28 booths across the city now and more would be added as per requirement to speed up the drive,” Bharati said.
The vaccination drive for frontline workers was started in two civic hospitals but the response has been poor so far, he said. The proximity of the booths might be one of the reason that is discouraging frontline workers to travel long distance to get vaccinated. “The small size private hospitals would also be used to set up booth so that beneficiaries need not cite the reason of long distance travel for not taking the vaccine,” Bharati said.
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