Updated: April 23, 2021 11:56:57 pm
IN THE last 93 days since the vaccination drive against Covid-19 started on January 16, the health department of the PCMC has dumped 16,062 doses. The civic administration said efforts were on to reduce wastage of the vaccine. So far, the civic body has inoculated a total of 3,03,794 beneficiaries.
“All efforts are being made to reduce wastage of vaccines,” said PCMC spokesperson Shirish Poredi on Friday.
Dr Varsha Dange, who handles the PCMC vaccination programme, said, “The national average of wastage of the vaccine is 6.5 per cent. The PCMC wastage is much lower at 4 per cent. Every day, we vaccinate at least 8,000 people at our vaccination centres.”
Earlier this month, the PCMC had to shut all vaccination centres after it ran out of stock. The PCMC is administering Covishield and Covaxin doses at 87 of its centres, and had, so far, received 3,69,000 doses of both from the central government and vaccinated 3,43,000 beneficiaries. “Of these, a total of 16,062 doses of Covishield and Covaxin have gone to waste… Around 10,000 doses are pending,” said Dr Dange.
The PCMC administration had initially released a figure of 33,000 for doses that had been dumped. Later, the health department revised the figure to 16,062 doses.
Dr Sunil John, who heads the Chinchwad vaccination centre at Talera hospital, said, “One vial of the vaccine contains 10 doses. If around 4.30 pm or 5 pm, when the vaccination closes for the day, there are only three beneficiaries present, we have to use only three doses and the rest go to waste. This is because the doses have to be used within four hours of the opening of the vial.”
Activist Domnic Lobo said, “Instead of wasting the vaccines, the PCMC can move the three beneficiaries who turn up towards the end to another vaccination centre nearby. This will help reduce wastage, but this requires effort and initiative.”
Another activist, Iklas Sayyed, said, “If there are, say only three beneficiaries present in the end, the officials at the vaccination centres should walk around the centre once before closing time… there are many people moving around without vaccination, they should be persuaded to take the jab. Alternatively, the PCMC should appoint volunteers who will ferry people to the centres. It is all about preventing wastage.”
Poredi said, “The PCMC is making an effort to reduce wastage. We are thinking of ways to reduce it.”
The PCMC started vaccinations on January 16. First, health workers were vaccinated, followed by frontline workers and those with co-morbidities aged above 45. At present, all aged above 45 are being vaccinated. From May 1, those aged 18 and above will be vaccinated.
Mayor Usha Dhore said the PCMC set a target of vaccinating 10 lakh citizens from May 1 to May 31. “Since from May 1, those aged 18 and above will be vaccinated, we have decided to increase the centres by 60 and vaccinate 10 lakh people. Every day, the PCMC gets over 10,000 doses. We are expecting to get 40,000 to 50,000 doses every day,” she said.
Pimpri-Chinchwad has a population between 25 to 27 lakh.
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