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Monday, April 12, 2021

Pune: Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, vaccine drive picks up

The PMC has given 45,847 doses to beneficiaries so far of which 28,220 doses were administered in the first month from January 16 to February 15 while 17,627 doses were given in the last eight days with a maximum of 4,597 on Wednesday.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
Updated: February 25, 2021 6:36:13 pm
Beneficiaries receive the second dose of Covishield Vaccine on Monday at Kamala Nehru Hospital. (Express photo by Ashish Kale)

The surge in new Covid19 patients in the last two weeks seems to have given a much-needed push to the Covid19 vaccination drive in Pune. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), which was not getting the expected response for the vaccination since the launch, has received a 62 percent increase in the last 8 days.

The PMC has given 45,847 doses to beneficiaries so far of which 28,220 doses were administered in the first month from January 16 to February 15 while 17,627 doses were given in the last eight days with a maximum of 4,597 on Wednesday.

As per the government directives, the drive started with vaccination to healthcare workers on January 16 and frontline workers from February 8. A total of 33,360 healthcare workers have taken the first dose and 2,515 of them have taken the second dose, after the gap of three weeks of taking the first dose. A total of 9,972 frontline workers have been inoculated so far.

According to PMC, the civic body had administered 28,220 doses in the first month and was considered to be slow. The civic administration was pulled up for the slow pace of vaccination by the state government.

It has now started witnessing a good response to the drive with 40 percent of the total beneficiaries so far getting inoculated in the last 8 working days compared to the 60 percent in the first 21 working days in a month from the start of drive. The PMC has doubled the vaccination rate in the last 10 working days.

The PMC has increased the vaccination centre from 8 to 29 now so that there would be easy access to the registered person to get inoculated at the nearest centre.

Earlier, the slow pace of vaccination was being attributed to the technical problems arising in the COWIN portal and lack of coordination of the civic health department with healthcare workers and frontline workers. The PMC has not been able to completely cover all the registered healthcare workers and has been appealing them to get it saying it would not be available to them later on.

The vaccination for frontline workers was started on February 8 but it was hardly getting any response. The PMC put the onus on the head of the respective department and organisations, including police, to get its staff working as frontline workers to get vaccinated.

Incidentally, the frontline workers of various PMC departments were not informed till last week of getting vaccinated in the ongoing drive. Thus, the civic health department started informing the department heads to make their staff getting vaccinated. “Many of our staff fall in the category of frontline workers. They were registered for the vaccination and were waiting for their turn for long but there was no communication from the civic health department. Assistant Medical Officer Vaishali Jadhav personally made a phone call urging the staff to avail the benefit of vaccination,” said the head of a civic department.

He said that the staff registered for vaccination is being allowed to get inoculated and take necessary rest if they get the side effects on the day.

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