Mumbai: Why Covid vaccines are stored at Parel, Not Kanjurmarg
Why has the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stored the 139,500 vaccine vials that the city got from the Serum Institute of India in Pune at the public health department’s headquarters at the F-South ward office in Parel, instead of the regional vaccine storage facility at Kanjurmarg, which is being prepared since mid-November? The Kanjurmarg facility is undergoing civil works at its premises and will be ready only after two weeks.
The Kanjurmarg facility can store up to 9,000,000 vaccine vials, while the F-South ward office can store up to 600,000 vaccine doses at a time. Suresh Kakani, additional Municipal commissioner in charge of the BMC’s public health department, said on Tuesday, “The Kanjurmarg facility is ready to be activated for storage of vials, but some civil work is pending. Moreover, the capacity is more to be activated at once for a comparatively smaller unit of vaccine doses. So we got the facility at Parel ready. Once the Parel facility is used to its full capacity, we will begin to use the one at Kanjurmarg.”
Moreover, logistically, it would be tedious to transport vaccine doses from the Kanjurmarg facility in the eastern suburbs to all nine vaccination centres, and hence the facility at Parel, which is centrally located, was chosen, Kakani added. The nine vaccination centres in the city are the four major hospitals, King Edward Memorial Hospital, BYL Nair Hospital, Cooper Hospital and Sion Hospital; four peripheral hospitals — Bhabha at Bandra, VN Desai at Santacruz, Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar and Bharat Ratna Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar hospital, Kandivli; and the Covid facility at Bandra-Kurla Complex.
A room on the ground floor of the F-South ward office building was cleared and handed over to the BMC’s public health department by the ward authorities. It is equipped with 10 ice-lined refrigerators, and the vaccine doses will be transferred from here on Saturday morning.
With an area of 5,000sqft, the Kanjurmarg facility in the five-storey Parivar building will have two walk-in coolers (WIC) and one walk-in freezer (WIF). The WIC will have capacity of 40 cubic metres and will maintain temperature up to -80 degrees Celsius. The WIF will have a capacity of 20 cubic metres and will maintain temperature between -15 and -250 degrees Celsius.