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BMC to trace 50,000-60,000 in Mumbai who skipped 2nd shot | Mumbai News – Times of India


MUMBAI: As many as 50,000-60,000 people in Mumbai have not turned up for their second shot of the Covid-19 vaccine despite completing the interval between two doses. The BMC, which has allowed walk-ins for those eligible for the second shot, has now launched a drive to trace the ‘dropouts’.
Of Mumbai’s 93.5 lakh adult population, 31% have taken the first shot while 8% have taken both (7.9 lakh). Ward offices have now been entrusted with calling up people to inquire why they have not taken the second shot. Dr Sheela Jagtap, who heads the city’s immunisation department, said it was important to probe why second dose numbers were low and if it was due to glitches, duplications in registration, simply fear or some other factors.
“We have created seven categories listing the probable reasons why one may not have got vaccinated. It includes pregnancy, Covid infection, unwillingness to take the vaccine, willingness to take it in a day or two, those untraceable, vaccinated but CoWin doesn’t reflect complete status,” she said. So far, the share of those ‘untraceable’ appears to be high, she added. And dropouts are slightly higher among Covaxin recipients.
Surprisingly, healthcare and frontline workers account for a hefty share of dropouts. Of 1.9 lakh healthcare and 2.3 lakh frontline workers who took the first dose, only 64% and 55% respectively have taken the second. Immunisation for healthcare staff started on January 16 while for frontline workers, on February 3. Duplication in entries could be a reason for these two categories, said Dr Jagtap, adding that if one has registered with different numbers or identity documents, it may not show.
Calls to citizens have also yielded some interesting responses. Ward officials said one of the topmost reasons why many—particularly from slums—did not come for the second dose was lack of awareness and confusion about the specified gap between the two shots. “Several people told us they were not sure if it was 84 days or 90 days or more since it has changed so many times. Many were simply unaware that they had to return for a second shot,” said Dr Mahendra Khandade, N ward’s medical officer of health (MOH).
Another ward officer said they have come across a handful saying they were wary of the side-effects. “They were not exactly reluctant to take the vaccine, but were simply delaying it fearing the side-effects. Few were travelling so they couldn’t take it,” he said. Dr Bhupendra Patil, MOH of M west ward, said with cases declining, there was also lack of urgency among some. Dr Jagtap said insufficient stocks were not a reason since priority has been given to second dose recipients. They can walk in directly on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays, she added.

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