Foreign-bound students complain of vaccine shortage, BMC to provide 900 doses tomorrow

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(Eds: Updating) Mumbai, Jun 1 (PTI) Several students who are heading to foreign countries for education had to return without getting a coronavirus vaccine jab for the second day in a row at civic-run Rajawadi Hospital here.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), however, said later that 1,875 jabs were delivered at three centres in two days, and another 900 would be made available on Wednesday.

It also said it had requested the Union government to shorten the gap between two doses as many students are to leave for foreign countries in July-August.

The civic body last week announced walk-in vaccination -- without registration -- for students from the city who are going abroad at Kasturba Hospital, Rajawadi Hospital and Cooper Hospital from Monday to Wednesday.

It had allocated 500 vaccine doses for this category on Tuesday -- 200 each at Kasturba and Cooper hospitals and 100 at Rajawadi Hospital, sources said.

But a large number of students turned up at the suburban Rajawadi Hospital in the morning.

'We are waiting in the queue for the vaccination at Rajawadi, Ghatkopar. Number of doses allocated are 100 and people standing in the queue are about 400plus. Please make sure we all get vaccines,' tweeted Sandesh Avhad, a student, tagging the BMC and Maharashtra tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray.

Rahul K, another student, said he was waiting in the queue since 7 while many others had landed there even earlier.

'I came to Rajawadi yesterday, saw the huge queue, asked the cops what to do, they said come tomorrow, so I went home. Bmc boasts 300plus vaccines given later in the evening.

So I got punished for cooperating.

'I went today as well, today exact 100 dose. Asked to go home again,' Shah Tweeted.

The gap between two doses is also an issue for those who are planning to travel abroad.

'My child going (to) USA in 1st week of August took vaccination today at Rajawadi hospital and got the cowin update and sms with 84 days for second shot.

'Students got vaccinated on 31st May got update for second shot after 4 weeks. kindly look into the matter and resolve the issue,' Aruna, a parent, said on Twitter.

In a late evening statement, the BMC said 1,875 vaccine shots were administered to students on Monday and Tuesday.

An official said another 900 doses -- 300 per each centre -- would be made available on Wednesday.

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, said he has written to the Union government, requesting it to reduce the long gap between first and second jabs of Covishield as students who enrol in foreign universities generally leave in July-August.

'We are hopeful about a positive response,' Kakani told PTI.

Officials said according to their estimate there are around 2,000 students in the city who are going abroad this year, but students from neighbouring cities are also coming to Mumbai for inoculation. PTI KK KRK KRK