With coronavirus cases surging across the country, getting vaccinated has become one of the most important steps to increase immunity against the deadly infection. The shortage of vaccines and over-crowding in vaccination centres, however, is a big concern for those hoping to get the vaccine, especially senior citizens and persons with disabilities. To help ease the crisis, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) of Maharashtra has set up an effective way of conducting a quick vaccination process by setting up a drive-in inoculation centre.
The civic body on Tuesday launched the city’s first drive-in vaccination centre where specially-abled people and senior citizens can get vaccine doses while sitting in a vehicle, without standing in a queue. As many as 417 persons were administered Covid-19 vaccine jabs on the first day.
The initiative seemed to leave the industrialist chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra, impressed. On Wednesday, Mahindra shared a video on his Twitter handle that showed how the drive-in centre vaccinated people on the first day of its functioning.
The facility has been set up in a parking lot at Kohinoor Tower in the Dadar area for inoculating those above the age of 45 years. There are two booths where 50 vehicles each can wait in a queue before vaccination, and some 100 vehicles can be parked during the post-vaccination observation period, the official said. If a person who has received a jab develops any adverse reaction, he or she can sound the horn.
Eight doctors and 18 nurses have been deployed at the centre, and if sufficient stock of vaccine doses is available, it has the capacity to vaccinate around 5,000 persons a day, the official told PTI.
In a post along with the video, Mahindra complimented the work done by BMC and praised its Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal for stepping up and taking effective measures.
The video has received over 31.3k views and over 2k likes since it was shared on the microblogging site. Looking at the video, many netizens wished if their cities can also come up with a similar process. A user from Bengaluru asked in comments if the city can also get a similar drive-in vaccination centre to ease the stress faced by applicants. Another user commented that they need a similar procedure in Delhi as well.
Some, however, remained critical of the development and pointed out that despite multiple centres, appointments and slots for vaccines were still not available. Many requested Mahindra to help ramp up the number of vaccination centres in Mumbai so more residents could safely take the vaccine.
Concerned about Covid-19 transmission within closed spaces, one Twitter user suggested that such a drive-in vaccination process should have taken place in an open area.
The BMC has set up over 135 vaccination centres across Mumbai since the inoculation drive began on January 16 this year. As of Tuesday evening, a total of 24,86,827 vaccine doses had been administered in the city, according to the civic body.
The BMC informed in a release that it was expecting to receive one lakh vaccine doses by late Tuesday night, so vaccination of those above 45 will take place between 12 noon to 5 pm on Wednesday.
Registration will be mandatory for those taking the first dose, while those taking the second dose can walk in without registration, the civic body said.
Those in the 18 to 44 age group will be administered vaccine doses only at five existing centres between 9 am to 5 pm.
(With inputs from PTI)