Vaccines for 18 Years and Above Only at Private Centres in Mumbai: BMC Commissioner

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The Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation (GMMC) said on Tuesday registered citizens in the age group of 18 to 45 years will receive their vaccines only at the centres of private hospitals. The announcement came as the government prepares to vaccinate all adults from May 1. The civic body, also known as Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), further said one COVID-19 vaccination centre will be opened in all 227 wards of Mumbai, adding that the aim is to vaccinate one lakh citizens daily.

It said vaccination of persons above 45 years of age is underway at 63 vaccination centres being operated jointly by government and the civic body. It further appealed to housing societies and corporate houses to tie up with private hospitals for vaccinating their members.

Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said there are about nine million people in the age group of 18 to 45 in Mumbai. “About 1.80 crore doses will be required to vaccinate all of them. Given the scale of the campaign, adequate availability of vaccine stocks, procurement, transportation, distribution as well as increasing the number of vaccination centers are all key issues. The corporation has been following up with the government and vaccine companies over the issue. After a decision regarding the vaccination campaign is taken in the meeting of the state cabinet to be held on Wednesday, the corporation will decide the next course of action accordingly,” he said.

At present, only citizens above the age of 45 years will be vaccinated at municipal and government centres operating in Mumbai, while registered citizens between the ages of 18 and 45 will be given their jabs at vaccination centres of all private hospitals in Mumbai, Chahal said, adding the decision has been taken to ensure there is no crowd at the centres.

There are 136 vaccination centres in operation in Mumbai — 63 belonging to the government and corporation and the remaining 73 of private hospitals. “Approval applications have been received from 26 more private hospitals. Therefore, the number of private hospital centers will now be 99,” Chahal said.

The corporation is also launching a regional vaccine depot in Andheri. Vaccines will be distributed to the eastern suburbs from the existing regional vaccine depot at Kanjurmarg and from the centre in Andheri to the western suburbs once the storage centre is commissioned.

Chahal held a review meeting on Tuesday via video conference that was attended by senior officials of the corporation.

Earlier this month, 75 of the vaccination centres across Mumbai, including a jumbo COVID-19 facility in business district BKC, had suspended inoculation due to a shortage of doses.

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