Turnout poor in Mumbai on Day 1 of vax drive for 30-44 group | Mumbai News – Times of India


MUMBAI: The first day of free Covid-19 vaccination for the 30-44 age-group got a lukewarm response, with only 1,778 Mumbaikars turning up for the shot.
In contrast, the neighbouring NMMC managed to vaccinate 6,058 people in the same age-group on Saturday.
BMC officials said they didn’t get time to spread the word about slots becoming available for the 30-44 age-group. “We got the state’s directive on the 30-44 age-group late in the evening on Friday. Moreover, due to technical issues, we could only make Covishield vaccines for this age-group available at only 10 of our 267 centres. This may have led to the poor turnout,” said a senior BMC official.
On Saturday, 74,630 people got vaccinated in Mumbai; 72% got the shot in private centres.
However, the BMC expects better response from Monday, when the youngsters will be allowed to walk in at most centres — barring those meant for international travellers and those offering Covaxin shots. “Software inputs are such that we cannot mix the 30-44 age-group with international travellers, who could be students who are 18. Also, the gap between two Covaxin shots is lower than the gap for Covishield shots. Hence, we have decided to keep these groups separate,” the official said.
Additional commissioner Suresh Kakani said BMC would on Monday discuss the feasibility of opening up vaccination for the entire 18-44 age-group. “Opening up would require a lot of arrangements, especially since we want to avoid crowding at the centres, but we will discuss the possibility,” he said.
On May 1, as per the union government’s directive, BMC started free vaccination for the 18-44 age-group but had to discontinue it due to shortage of vaccines. With vaccine availability likely to improve for public centres, the BMC hopes the numbers of recipients will be bigger from Monday onwards.
In Navi Mumbai, the response was better as 25 centres were given the target of vaccinating at least 100 people each and the four civic hospitals were asked to immunize 300 each. The jumbo centre at ESIC hospital was asked to vaccinate 1,000 beneficiaries. Long queues were seen at all centres, and NMMC hopes to get a similar response in coming days. NMMC commissioner Abhijit Bangar has appealed to residents to come forward to get the jab.
The state vaccinated 2,23,748 people on Friday. The total number of vaccine doses given out in Maharashtra is 2.7 crore.

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