MUMBAI: Acute vaccine shortage prompted the BMC to instruct vaccination centres on Friday to prioritise those coming in for the second dose.
Across Mumbai, thousands are either being turned away or are forced to head from one centre to another looking for vaccine doses. Booking an appointment though Co-Win has become a near-impossible task.
“Why are you asking the state? Ask the Centre why there are no doses,” said Dr Dilip Patil, the state’s immunisation in-charge, on Friday. With less than 7 lakh vaccine doses in its kitty, vaccination is likely to suffer majorly across Maharashtra through the weekend. In Mumbai, Dr Mangala Gomare, the BMC’s executive health officer, said they were expecting 50,000 doses on Friday. Many private centres that didn’t do vaccination through the week may remain shut.
Vaccination will start late on Saturday since stocks are expected to arrive late on Friday. Due to the shortage, as many as 52 of the 132 centres couldn’t conduct sessions on Friday. Even major centres such as Nesco in Goregaon had to shut post 2pm after they ran out of doses. Dean Dr Neelam Andrade said they hope to get stocks on Saturday.
On Friday, the city could vaccinate 48,280.
Malad’s Caroline Morris (45) visited eight centres with her 69-year-old mother for the second dose, but couldn’t get it. “We started at Choksi Maternity Home at Malad. We got there at 2pm and were told they had run out of Covishield. We then went to Meenatai Thackeray Blood Bank at Goregaon and later Nesco at Goregaon (E). They told us to check on Monday,” Morris said.
They then headed to Dahisar’s jumbo centre. “But the line was so long, it felt like a Covid hotspot. From there we went to Karuna Hospital, Bhagwati Hospital and HCG Cancer Centre at Borivli (W). Our last stop was Shatabdi Hospital at Kandivli, where we were told to come back on Saturday.” Andheri’s Ranjana Guha has been trying in vain to book a Co-Win appointment for her second dose.
Dr Shashank Joshi, member, state Covid taskforce, said vaccination has taken a hit in the private sector. “It is worrisome that a little over 3 lakh have managed to take the second dose.”