The war rooms have to call up three lakh people who took their first shot in a vaccination centre in Mumbai but didn’t turn up for the second one. “We got these three-lakh-plus names from the CoWin portal and plan to reach out to each one to find out why they haven’t taken the second shot despite it being overdue,” said BMC additional commissioner Suresh Kakani. A senior public health department doctor said the list has 3.84 lakh names.
The exercise is part of the BMC’s all-out plan to complete the “last mile” in Covid vaccination; 1.47 crore shots (91.5 lakh first shots and 56.4 lakh second shots) have been given out in Mumbai’s nearly 500 vaccination centres.
As the city has an adult population of 92.3 lakh who are eligible for Covid shots, it is presumed that 99.1% of the city’s target population has taken the first shot, and 61% have taken the second as well.
The war room drill could provide an insight into whether 99.1% first-shot beneficiaries are all from Mumbai or include ‘outsiders’ from municipal corporations surrounding Mumbai. BMC public health officials presume 10-20% of the 91.5 lakh who have taken the first shot in Mumbai could be from beyond city limits. “Many from Mumbai’s workforce live in satellite cities, so it is good if they have taken the vaccine here,” said a doctor. The Union health ministry rules state people can take their shots anywhere in India.
“These three lakh people could be residents of neighbouring civic corporations who took their first shot here due to better availability of vaccines in Mumbai, but took the second locally. Or they could be migrant workers who left the city after taking the first shot,” said Kakani.
The number could include Mumbaikars who are resistant to taking the second shot. “We have to counsel them, and get them to the nearest mobile vaccine centre for the second shot,” he said. E ward’s assistant municipal commissioner Manish Walunju said the calling-up exercise was on. “Our war room is calling up those with co-morbidities and urging them to come forward and take the shot. The problem is with persons who may have taken the shot while passing by from the centre, but maybe living some place far off. We are requesting such persons to go to the nearest vaccination centre and ensure that they get inoculated,” he said.
Kalina corporator Tulip Miranda said, “Despite BMC going all-out by taking the vaccination van to many slum and housing localities, some are choosing to stay unvaccinated. Calling up people who have not taken the shot will serve as a reminder to them and hopefully they will take the shot,” said Miranda.