Updated: January 19, 2021 10:30:40 am
As the Covid-19 vaccination drive resumed Tuesday, Pune civic health authorities Monday said software-related glitches had affected the efforts to set up inoculation sites at private hospitals.
There are eight vaccination sites under the Pune Municipal Corporation area of which four are located at private hospitals — Deenanath Mangeshkar, Ruby Hall Clinic, Noble and Bharati Hospitals.
On Monday, Dr Ashish Bharati, the medical chief of PMC, told The Indian Express: “We have already sent the list of beneficiaries to be vaccinated at Sassoon Hospital and three corporation-run hospitals. However, the list of beneficiaries for the four private hospitals in the city is yet to be sent.”
A server-related glitch, Dr Bharati added, had hindered the process of setting up the vaccination sites at the four private hospitals. “The software hangs and session sites are not getting set up for private hospitals. The Delhi information technology (IT) team is also looking into the issue,” he said.
On January 16, the first day of the vaccination drive, some vaccination centres in the state had faced problems in uploading beneficiary lists on the CoWin platform – the app developed by the Centre to monitor and track the inoculation process. With the app slowing down on the inaugural day, various vaccination sites in Pune had also reported problems in real-time verification of beneficiaries. The updated list of beneficiaries, who were vaccinated on January 16, could be uploaded on the CoWin portal later in the evening.
Private hospitals have now urged the civic health authorities to provide the list of beneficiaries well in advance to ensure that the process is rolled out smoothly.
Manisha Karmarkar, the chief operating officer at Ruby Hall Clinic, said, “There are surgeons, intensivists, and anaesthetists who begin their day very early with planned surgeries. Some may even be travelling and it is really challenging to just inform them a couple of hours prior to the vaccination. We still do not have the list of beneficiaries who will be vaccinated on Tuesday.”
While 57 people, including doctors above 70 years, were vaccinated on January 16 at the clinic, Karmarkar said the civic health authorities should empower them to prepare their own list of the registered beneficiaries. “We have 3,500 employees registered with us and hence need to inform them well in advance about the proposed session of vaccination,” he said.
Meanwhile, 15 of the 70 nurses who were administered the jab at Symbiosis Hospital on day one, have reported sick with fever and body aches. While minor side-effects are expected after any vaccination, hospital authorities said the healthcare workers should be staggered accordingly from each department to ensure that they can report to work after getting the shot.
“We want to distribute the vaccine doses equally among our staff so that even if there are minor side-effects, the functioning of any department at the hospital does not get affected,” Dr Vijay Natarajan, CEO of Symbiosis Hospital, who was also the first to take the Covishield vaccine dose on January 16, said.
The hospital had achieved the target of vaccinating 100 healthcare workers on day one. However, as several nurses did not report to work Monday, the hospital authorities admitted that a few planned surgeries had to be deferred.
“We have made our own list of the healthcare workers and frontline workers, who are also registered on the CoWin app, and will stagger their vaccination with staffers from other departments like maintenance, nursing, housekeeping, IT and others so that services do not get affected if some fall ill post vaccination with mild symptoms,” Dr Natarajan said.
At Noble Hospital, where 73 healthcare workers were vaccinated on the inaugural day, 14 nurses have developed minor symptoms, like body ache and fever, Dr H K Sale, the executive director of the hospital said.
‘Use CoWin app for inoculation process, system stabilising’
N Ramaswami, the director of National Health Mission, Maharashtra, has assured that technical glitches with the CoWin app were being addressed.
“We will be using the CoWin platform to conduct the vaccination process and apart from teething problems, it is now stabilised and working fine,” Ramaswami told The Indian Express. All the issues are being addressed and the system has stabilised now, he said.
Maharashtra had vaccinated 65 per cent of healthcare workers on January 16 and while the target was to administer vaccine doses to 28,500 beneficiaries, a total of 18,425 were given the shot.
Due to the technical glitches, the beneficiary verification process had slowed down and offline verification had to be undertaken. With the app slowing down, messages could not be sent to health workers who were set to receive the vaccine Saturday morning and beneficiaries had to be individually called.
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