BMC begins mass inoculation as healthcare workers queue up for first vaccine jab
- All ten vaccination centres across the city sported colourful curtains and were decorated with flowers. Some centres at BYL Nair hospital and Covid-19 jumbo centre at Bandra Kurla Complex also placed selfie spots with ‘I got my Covid-19 vaccine’ message in the backdrop.
Almost ten months after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, a glimmer of hope hung over designated hospitals on Saturday morning as officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) began the nationwide mass inoculation programme.
At around 8.30am, as the ‘Vaccine Van’ carrying 500 units of Covishield made its way into Cooper Hospital at Vile Parle, staffers clapped for the vaccine carriers with the hospital’s nursing staff holding 'arti thalis’ and sweets as a welcome gesture. After the vaccines were unloaded, they distributed sweets and cheered..
All ten vaccination centres across the city sported colourful curtains and were decorated with flowers. Some centres at BYL Nair hospital and Covid-19 jumbo centre at Bandra Kurla Complex also placed selfie spots with ‘I got my Covid-19 vaccine’ message in the backdrop.
Wearing masks, hundreds of healthcare workers (HCWs) – some anxious, others impatient – queued up to get their first vaccine shots. Though BMC had placed a target of vaccinating 4,000 HCWs on the first day, around 48.15% healthcare workers received the vaccines.
Despite last minute delays in informing registered HCWs about the timing and place of the vaccination, 1,926 HCWs including doctors, nurses, ASHA and anganwadi workers reached the centres.
After a low turnout in the first few hours, footfall of HCWs started increasing post noon. Many senior HCWs above 80 years also visited vaccination centres to get their first shot. Dr Devadhvala Dilnazj, 75, a retired anaesthetic reached BYL Nair Hospital by 9.30 am and was the first to take the vaccine shot at the hospital.
Beneficiaries were asked to show their identity card mainly PAN card following which they were given token numbers. Later, they were asked to wait in the waiting areas and were called for vaccination according to the number. However, this led to overcrowding and social distancing was compromised. The beneficiaries were forced to wait in a long queue at vaccination centres like Dr RN Cooper, Shatabdi hospitals and BKC jumbo centre.
Though no case of adverse effects was reported, some beneficiaries reported dizziness after taking the vaccine and were immediately taken to the ‘adverse reaction’ room where they rested. But soon, they were stabilized and sent back home.
At Sion Hospital, before starting the vaccination programme, dean Dr Mohan Joshi gave an emotional and inspirational lecture to staffers about their journey in the last ten months. He thanked all medical staffers for their tireless contribution during the pandemic.
“Since it was the first day of vaccination, some centres reported crowding but the system will be gradually channelized better to stop the gathering of beneficiaries,” said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC.
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