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Monday, August 02, 2021

Explained: The revised BMC guidelines for private vaccination camps at societies, work places

As per the new guidelines, nodal officers appointed by the housing society or the office management will ensure that private Covid-19 vaccination centres (PCVC) or private hospitals engaged with vaccination are registered on the Co-Win portal.

Written by Laxman Singh , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai |
July 3, 2021 9:56:50 am
BMC vaccination, BMC, Covid-19 vaccination, private vaccination camps in Mumbai, Vaccination at societies, Work Place vaccination, explained health, Express ExplainedBeneficiaries at a vaccination centre in Shivaji Nagar on Friday. (Express photo by Amit Chakravarty)

On Thursday (July 1), the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued fresh guidelines for housing societies and private offices planning to conduct vaccination camps within their premises. As per the new guidelines, nodal officers appointed by the housing society or the office management will ensure that private Covid-19 vaccination centres (PCVC) or private hospitals engaged with vaccination are registered on the Co-Win portal. The nodal officers have to contact and verify the authenticity of the PCVC with the local health authority (Medical/Health Officer of the ward).

The nodal officer, the guidelines state, should also ensure that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) is signed between the housing society secretary and the PCVC before the drive begins. Both, the housing society and the private hospital, must inform the local police station and ward office about the camp at least three days in advance.

Along with the guidelines, the BMC has also released a list of 95 registered PCVC or private hospitals who are authorized to conduct vaccination drives.

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What else do housing societies and office managements need to do?

Housing societies should designate the secretary of the society as the ‘Nodal Officer’ to coordinate with the PCVC. The details regarding the MoU, the name of the PCVC engaged in the drive, date of vaccination and charges per doses of vaccine are to be decided in an executive committee meeting of the society. The guidelines also state that minutes of the meeting should be maintained and produced whenever asked for by a competent authority.

The housing society should also display the name of the PCVC roped in, the date of vaccination and charges per dose per beneficiary on the society’s notice board. The housing society and workplace management organising the vaccination drive within their premises should also arrange three rooms – one as a waiting room, the second for vaccination and the third for observation post inoculation. The list of eligible beneficiaries should be kept ready a day prior.

What role do the nodal officers have?

The nodal officer should inform the medical health officer of the respective ward as well as the local police station at least three days in advance. During the vaccination drive, it is the responsibility of the nodal officer to ensure beneficiaries get real-time digital certificate links. The nodal officer should also ensure the whole vaccination process is entered real-time in the CoWin portal.

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The nodal officer of the PCVC should ensure an ambulance is on standby, and also the availability of trained staff (data entry operators, verifiers, vaccinators), procurement of vaccines and other required logistics at the workplace or housing societies.

Who can you approach if you have a doubt or spot a malpractice?

Society members can call the MCGM helpline number 1916 or the local ward war room. After the local ward office is informed, the concerned health officer is responsible for confirming whether the PCVC is registered on the COWIN portal. Also, the ward health officer can conduct random visits at vaccination sites.

Why were fresh guidelines issued?

The new guidelines come in the wake of a recent vaccination scam which came to light after residents of Hiranandani Heritage society in Kandivali filed a police complaint about fake vaccines being administered. On May 30, 390 residents participated in a purported Covid-19 vaccination drive in Kandivali society paying Rs 1,260 per dose of Covishield. When their vaccination certificates came after a delay of 10 days, residents noticed that the date of vaccination and name of hospitals were different.

After the incident, more people came forward complaining about bogus vaccination drives. According to a police investigation, so far nine bogus vaccination drives were held covering 2680 people. Police registered ten FIRs and arrested 13 persons. The accused organised camps in housing societies, colleges, production houses and insurance firms. The BMC investigation found housing societies did not follow the guidelines of signing an MoU with the private hospital and they also did not inform the local BMC ward office. Following the scam, the Bombay High Court had directed the BMC to frame new guidelines.

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