Vax shortage: Over 40% of Mumbai centres cancel today’s program | Mumbai News - Times of India

Vax shortage: Over 40% of Mumbai centres cancel today’s program | Mumbai News – Times of India

Mumbai

MUMBAI: The vaccine shortage turned acute on Thursday, with 25 of the 71 private centres in the city unable to inoculate a single person. After Thursday’s drive, the city is left with 40,000 to 50,000 doses, barely enough to last a day.

As a result, at least 51 of the total 120 centres, including public ones, have cancelled their drives for Friday, according to BMC. Some major public centres like BKC Jumbo, SevenHills Hospital, Dahisar jumbo, Cooper Hospital, Kasturba Hospital and VN Desai have either cancelled or trimmed their drive for Friday.
On Thursday, some big centres saw unprecedented rush as word of the shortage spread. Crowds at SevenHills Hospital in Andheri spilled out to the compound and the Nesco jumbo vaccination centre saw serpentine queues. Local corporators were flooded with calls from panicky people, who either returned without a shot or had their appointments cancelled.
Civic officials told TOI that a consignment of 1.86 lakh doses could reach Mumbai on Friday, but till that happens, centres with zero or few doses may not plan sessions. After a rush triggered by fears of vaccine shortage, the city inoculated 56,909 people. Among them was Sunita Ahire, a resident of Gundavali in Andheri. But she had to wait three hours in the scorching sun with hundreds of others to enter the SevenHills Hospital building from the compound. “We watched in the news that the vaccine was getting over, so we rushed here,” she said.
But Marol resident Dicky Alphonso (45) had to return without a shot as Holy Spirit Hospital, Andheri, ran out of doses by 1pm. “Co-WIN should have a mechanism to tell registered people the shots are over,” she said. “Many were sent back from Sion hospital due to unavailability of vaccines. This should not happen to old people who are putting themselves at risk by stepping out of their homes in a pandemic,” said Congress corporator Ravi Raja.
The situation was grim across the state, with Yavatmal and Chandrapur districts in Vidarbha on Thursday joining Gondia and Amravati in closing down almost all inoculation centres. In Vasai-Virar, only second doses were given and others were turned away. The state on Wednesday vaccinated 4.37 lakh people, taking the total count of doses administered in Maharashtra to 89.55 lakh.
The BMC released a statement on Thursday, saying it had around 50,000 doses left for Friday. “After the use of about 40,000- 50,000 doses (on Thursday), we are left with an equal number which is barely enough for a day,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, BMC’s executive health officer. While people may not be able to book online appointments as sessions will not be planned, those walking-in may face disappointment if that particular centre runs out of stocks. Hospitals suggested that people should enquire over the phone about stock status before approaching a centre.
Of the 120 vaccination centers in the city, 49 are public and 71 private. Gomare said the public centres may be hit on Friday. The corporation said it had received 17,09,550 doses till April 7. Out of that, 15,61,420 were used and 1,48,130 were left after Wednesday. Of that, 44,810 were Covaxin doses that have to be reserved for second doses. So vaccination opened on Thursday with merely 1,03,320 doses, which was halved during the day.
Among private hospitals, Nanavati in Juhu, Bhatia in Tardeo, Holy Family in Bandra may not hold drives on Friday. Sneha Joseph, executive director of Holy Spirit, said they didn’t get fresh stocks on Thursday, so there was uncertainty over Friday’s drive.
Dean of SevenHills Dr Balakrishna Adsul said the crowd had swelled because the vaccine stock got over around 11am. “It restarted around 12pm after we managed to get 2,750 doses,” he said. Dr Vispi Jokhi, CEO of Masina Hospital, said they have restricted walk-ins so that the ones who have registered are not denied.
(Inputs from Richa Pinto and Sandhya Nair)

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