BMC To Double Vaccination Centres Starting Next Week

BMC To Double Vaccination Centres Starting Next Week

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has announced that it will double the number of vaccination centres in the city starting next week as vaccinations are expected to surge. This comes in the wake of the Union Government’s announcement that vaccines will be provided free of cost to everyone over the age of 18 from June 21. 

As of now, Mumbai has 259 vaccination centres with each having the capacity to innoculate at least 31,000 people per day. The civic body is aiming to increase the number of centres to over 500 which would ramp up the number of vaccinations to 55,000 per day in the city. 

The increase of civic-run vaccination centres will also bring back some parity in terms of vaccinations between civic and private centres. As of now, privately run vaccinations centres are outpacing civic centres in terms of doses administered.

Additional Municipal Commissioner at the BMC, Suresh Kakani said, “Since the start of the mass vaccination process in January, we have been continuously working on the logistics. We have the infrastructure to expand the total number of vaccination centres to over 500. We are hopeful that the arrangements will be completed before June 21.”

The BMC has said that it has around 1 lakh vaccine doses left which will be prioritized for those waiting for their second vaccine shot. 

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As per the Union Government’s newly announced policy, 75 per cent of the vaccine would be acquired by the Centre, while the remaining 25 per cent will be available for private hospitals. Despite the Centre taking responsibility for vaccine supply, the Public Health Department said it will maintain communications with manufacturers.    

“Earlier, on several occasions, we had to face mass criticism due to unavailability of vials. We had to stop the vaccination programme at several centres. Even though the Centre has promised to supply the vials, we don’t want to close the door of communication with the manufacturers. We have to keep a backup in case, we don’t get an adequate number of vials,” an official with the Public Health Department said. 

The Centre also announced recently that private hospitals cannot charge more than ₹150 per vaccine dose as the service charge. However, private hospitals believe capping of the service charge could impact vaccinations outside of hospitals, for example, in housing societies, or corporate vaccination spots where ambulances may be required. 

Consultant physician at Bombay Hospital, Dr Gautam Bhansali, “To arrange for vaccination in societies and corporate houses, we need to keep ambulances on stand-by and the arrangements are expensive. These cost more than ₹150 as service charge. Though we completely respect the decisions of the government, holding vaccination camps outside the hospital within the price cap would be problematic”.

Also readCOVID-19: Private Hospitals Unable To Place New Vaccine Orders As Centre’s New Norms Go Into Effect

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