(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

1,926 health workers in Mumbai vaccinated

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday launched the state’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination drive from Mumbai, at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) Covid-19 Jumbo facility, at 11
By Eeshanpriya MS, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 01:17 AM IST

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday launched the state’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination drive from Mumbai, at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) Covid-19 Jumbo facility, at 11.30am.

Following this, the drive started at 40 booths across the city’s 10 vaccination centres — the eight municipal hospitals, the BKC jumbo facility and the state-run JJ Hospital.

The first day of the drive in Mumbai concluded at 5pm, with 1,926 health workers vaccinated, according to information from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), as of Saturday evening. A total of 200 staffers, including 80 vaccinators, were working on Saturday. No untoward incident or adverse medical reaction among those vaccinated was reported in the city.

Speaking at the launch on Saturday, Thackeray said, “We are taking a revolutionary step today [Saturday] by starting vaccination. I salute all health and frontline workers who have been serving the city through the toughest time of Covid-19 in April, May and June. It is our duty to honour this work, and hence they have been selected to receive the first vaccine doses. In Mumbai, we built Covid-19 centres like BKC, and this was all possible due to health and frontline workers.”

Dr Madhura Patil, a dietician at the Asian Heart hospital, received the first shot at BKC, while Dr Deepak Sawant, former health minister and Shiv Sena member of legislative council (MLC), was the first person to receive the coronavirus vaccine shot at Mumbai’s Cooper Hospital, after the Prime Minister’s address to the country via teleconference at 10.30 am.

Thackeray also urged Mumbaiites to continue the use of masks, and measures such as handwashing and social distancing, despite being vaccinated. “Even after taking vaccine, we will have to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour,” Thackeray said.

When asked to comment on the safety concerns raised around Covaxin, which is still in the trial stage, Thackeray said on Saturday, “The Centre takes the decision about which vaccine is to administered. Considering the Prime Minister has launched the vaccine drive today, there should not be any hesitation in the minds of citizens regarding the safety of any vaccine.”

The state has received the vaccines from the centre, for emergency usage for health and frontline workers. We do not have clarity on when it [vaccines] will be available for all citizens, Thackeray said. He also said the vaccine is being administered for free for health workers on Saturday. Decisions regarding cost will be taken following further guidelines from the centre.

The nine vaccination centres in the city are the four major hospitals — King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital where 243 health workers were vaccinated on the first day, BYL Nair Hospital at Mumbai Central where 190 were vaccinated, Cooper Hospital where 262 people were vaccinated, and Sion Hospital where 188 people were vaccinated; four peripheral hospitals — Bhabha hospital at Bandra where 149 people were vaccinated, V N Desai hospital at Santacruz where 80 people were vaccinated, Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar where 289 were vaccinated, and Bharat Ratna Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar hospital, Kandivli, where 266 were vaccinated; and the Covid-19 facility at BKC where 220 were vaccinated . The state-run JJ Hospital is the 10th vaccination centre in the city where 39 people were vaccinated.

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner in-charge of BMC’s public health department, said, “1,926 health workers were vaccinated on Saturday. No adverse incident was reported. On Sunday, the drive will start at 9am, so we will get three or four hours more, up to 5pm, so the number of people who will receive their vaccine shots on Sunday will increase. We have already supplied enough vaccine doses to all centres in the city from the storage facility in Parel, to suffice for a week.” Mumbai received 139,500 vaccine vials from the Serum Institute of India (SII) on Tuesday this week.

Dr Rajesh Dhere, dean, BKC Covid-19 vaccination centre, said, “No adverse effect has been reported in any vaccine beneficiary yet. But one 32 year-old health worker had reported anxiety post vaccination. We counselled her and she is fine.”

Dr Shashank Joshi from Lilavati Hospital, who is a member of Covid-19 taskforce and who took the vaccine at BKC, said, “By keeping faith and trust on the government and scientists who have worked hard for the Covid-19 vaccine, I appeal to all health workers and frontline workers to take the vaccine.”

Dr Madhura Patil, the first person to receive the vaccine at BKC jumbo facility, said, “When I came to know that I was selected for vaccination, I was more than willing to take it. We have been working hard throughout the pandemic, and this vaccination drive dedicated to us is something that every health and frontline worker should take benefit of. I did not experience any adverse effect after undertaking the vaccine.”

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