May 24, 2021 7:58:35 pm
Facing a shortage of Covid-19 vaccines, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to stop its free-of-cost mobile vaccination programme for private companies as such companies can afford to get their staff vaccinated at private facilities.
“We have got nearly 200 applications from private companies to implement the `vaccination on wheels’ programme in their premises after it was launched in April. However, there have been problems in implementing it due to shortage of vaccine doses and the civic body has been struggling to meet the demands of its own vaccination centres,” said a civic officer.
Some private hospitals have started the vaccination drive on a commercial basis by procuring doses directly from the manufacturing companies, he said, adding, “The applications received by PMC are from large companies, including information technology companies. These companies can afford to take the commercial service of private hospitals to inoculate their staff by holding camps in their premises.”
“The PMC vaccination programme is free of cost and there is already a huge demand for it from the public. The civic body had to stop the vaccination drive for those between 18 to 44 years as not all the population above 45, healthcare workers and frontline workers have got both their vaccine doses so far. The state government has directed us to focus on vaccinating those above 45 as early as possible and ensure they get both the doses,” said the officer.
As per the guidelines, camps through ‘vaccination on wheels’ can be conducted if there are at least 100 eligible beneficiaries at the centre and two or more organisations in the same area can tie up for participating in the camp.
The ward medical officer will visit the proposed vaccination site to ensure the space fulfills the criteria to set up a vaccination camp as it requires a waiting room, vaccination room and observation room.
If the private companies tie up with private hospitals for paid vaccination service, the free vaccine doses will be available to inoculate more people from poor families, said the civic officer.