cities

BMC aims to vaccinate 1 crore Mumbaiites within a month

Expecting a rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine early next year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in its blueprint of immunisation process aims to vaccinate around 1 crore Mumbaiites within a month in the first phase.

The civic body estimates that Mumbai is home to 2 crore people in 2020. “So far, the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given the nod to vaccinate around 1.25 lakh health workers from public and private sectors. Along with this, with the approval of ICMR, we may include police, employees of solid waste management and citizens above 50 years in the first phase. But we are yet to get an official approval from ICMR,” said Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner, BMC.

The Union health ministry has instructed all states to keep a blueprint of their first vaccination process ready. The civic body has been holding regular meetings with senior health officers, including deans of medical colleges. As per the initial planning of the blueprint, other than medical colleges, the civic body will start vaccination points at peripheral hospitals (except maternity hospitals). Also, two vaccination centres will be located in every civic ward.

“We are trying to create as many vaccination centres as possible to fasten the process. We have also created a blueprint on the training process of the vaccine providers. We also have to procure cold chain boxes (vaccine carriers that help maintain the temperature, until it is delivered to the centre) from the government for transportation of vaccines,” he said.

The King Edward Memorial (KEM) hospital in Parel and BYL Nair hospital in Mumbai Central are conducting second and third phase of clinical trials of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine. While Lokmanya Tilak General Hospital, known as Sion Hospital, and the government-run JJ hospital will soon commence clinical trials of the first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine – Covaxin.

Currently, BMC has identified a 5,000-sqft floor space in a five-storey civic body building in Kanjurmarg for a cold storage facility.

The temperature of the cold storage facility will be structured based on the vaccine type. “Two vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in the city. One needs a cooling temperature between -2 and – 8 degrees. So, the first three-storey will be designed specifically for the vaccine. While the second vaccine needs another set of temperatures. Once the second vaccine gets approval, we will customise the other two floors as per its required temperature,” said a health officer from BMC.

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