Phase-3 of Covid-19 vax: Mumbai civic body selects 8 centres for Day 1
Acting on the Centre’s instructions, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to begin the third phase of the Covid-19 immunisation programme on Monday.
To fasten the nationwide mass vaccination programme amid the rising Covid-19 cases across the country, the Centre has instructed all the states to start the inoculation process for senior citizens and those above 45 with comorbidities from Monday.
Eight centres have been selected for Day 1, of which four are Covid-19 jumbo centres, one is a Covid-19 hospital, while three are private hospitals empanelled under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY). Until further directions from the Union health ministry, only Covishield vaccines will be administered in the third phase.
Private hospitals said that as the directions came on Sunday, they were short on time to make the necessary preparations. They would receive the vials only on Monday morning.
“Earlier we were told that the civic body would visit for inspection. But on Sunday morning, we got to know that we have already been selected. So, at the eleventh hour, we had to make all the preparations,” said a senior doctor from KJ Somaiya Hospital, which is one of the selected vaccine centres. The hospital has ordered additional freezers to store the vials.
But BMC’s executive health officer Dr Mangala Gomare said, “We have enough number of vials to start the third phase for citizens. We are expecting to get more vials from the government soon.”
On Sunday, the civic body selected the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), Mulund, Goregaon and Dahisar Covid-19 jumbo centres as well as the SevenHills Hospital in Marol. These five centres will provide vaccines free of cost.
As per BMC, the central government had sent them a list of 53 private hospitals who are empanelled under MJPJAY and the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). Apart from KJ Somaiya Hospital (Sion), BMC has selected HJ Doshi Hindu Sabha Hospital (Ghatkopar) and SRCC Children’s Hospital (Mahalaxmi) to start the third phase. Each inoculation will cost ₹250 at these hospitals.
All the three private hospitals already have an immunisation department. “We have the infrastructure in place. As we have been inoculating children for years, vaccinating adults won’t be a problem for us,” said Dr Varsha Dilip Phadke, dean, KJ Somaiya Hospital.
From Tuesday, BMC will start the third phase in 19 more civic centres. However, before giving a go ahead to additional empanelled private hospitals, BMC said their officials would conduct inspections.
“We need to check if the enlisted hospitals have the adequate infrastructure. They also need to train the staff for vaccination. We also have to check if they have intensive care units (ICU), in case a beneficiary develops an adverse effect after vaccination,” said additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani.
Meanwhile, major private, charitable hospitals such as Bombay Hospital, Jaslok, Lilavati and Nanavati, are upset that their names did not show up in the list submitted by the Centre. They have requested BMC to ensure their participation in the next phase.
“We have played a major role in providing treatment to Covid-19 patients in the past 11 months. We have the infrastructure and the staff strength to inoculate the public. But instead of us, smaller hospitals and nursing homes which don’t even have ICUs have been selected,” said Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant physician at Bombay Hospital, who is in-charge of Covid-19 beds at city’s private hospitals.
The list available with HT shows that many of the enlisted centres are just dialysis centres. Most dialysis centres do not have ICUs, but the availability of ICUs is a criteria required to get permissions.
“Without permission from the central government, we can’t add empanelled private hospitals. We are hopeful of receiving more approvals and add private hospitals who are already inoculating healthcare workers in Phase 1,” said Kakani, adding, “We’ll also soon add other civic centres who are already conducting phases 1 and 2 of the vaccination drive.”
To get the shots at private hospitals, citizens have to register on the Co-WIN app, which will be open from 9am on Monday. To get free vaccines at public vaccination centres, citizens can directly visit them between 12pm and 5pm.
Citizens with comorbidities have to get a health certificate from a physician. A form has already been released by the Centre as a declaration of health certificate which has 20 comorbidities (diabetes, heart failure with hospital admission in the past one year, post-cardiac transplant, moderate or severe valvular heart disease, end-stage kidney disease on haemodialysis, severe respiratory disease with hospitalisation in the past two years, primary immunodeficiency diseases/HIV infection, angina and hypertension/diabetes on treatment) in the list of priority patients.