Mumbai: Civic Hospitals Making Room for Covid Vaccine at Blood, Skin, Milk Banks

Mumbai: Civic Hospitals Making Room for Covid Vaccine at Blood, Skin, Milk Banks

Four hospitals run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have started the process of creating the required space to store vials of the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to freeing up pharmacology and microbiology departments for this purpose, civic hospitals are also said to be using, blood, skin, and milk banks. 

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Hospitals like Sion, KEM, Cooper, and BYL Nair have been chosen as the designated vaccination centres in Mumbai. However, the hospitals have cited difficulties in making the required space available in their existing buildings. It is said that each hospital needs to have space for at least 25,000 vials each in their cold storage units. 

Dean at Sion Hospital, Dr Mohan Joshi said that the generation of space for vaccines is being done as per the instructions provided by BMC's Additional Municipal Commissioner, Suresh Kakani. “If the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine gets approved, we can keep it in our current cold storage facility that ranges between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius,” he said.

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Dr Joshi added that the hospital has requested additional refrigerators and cooling units as well as banks at the hospital to be used for vaccine storage. Dean at KEM, Dr Hemant Deshmukh mentioned that the institution is generating space at its plasma and blood banks in addition to the microbiology and pharmacology departments. 

Meanwhile, Kakani said that hospitals need to ensure there’s enough space for vaccines that are expected to go to frontline workers. “This is only to begin with. While each of the four hospitals can definitely store 25,000 vials each, they need to chalk out plans for more, as the rest of the population gradually needs to be vaccinated, too,” he said.

The BMC has said that it has started the process of training its staff which includes instructions on the storage of vials in cold storage facilities. The civic body added that the vaccine vials will also be stored at a five-storey building at Kanjurmarg which will be transformed into a cold storage facility by December 15. Up to 5 lakh vials can reportedly be stored at this location.

ReadBMC Starts Process For COVID-19 Vaccine Storage In Kanjurmarg

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