COVID vaccination drive in Mumbai witnesses low turnout yet again; 50% get gift of the jab on Day 2

Refusals, hesitation and an ill-functioning CO-WIN app reasons behind the low participation

Mumbai hardly managed to vaccinate 1,597 people out of the listed 3,200 beneficiaries registered for vaccination on Tuesday, Day-2 of the coronavirus vaccination drive. Recording a similar attendance as Day-1, on Saturday, the malfunctioning of the CO-WIN mobile application, isolated cases of hesitation and refusal among people were pinned for almost half of the intended participation. These low numbers were observed to be a state phenomenon; Maharashtra's tally also plummeted from 64% on Saturday, to 52% on Sunday, vaccinating about 14,883 healthcare workers of the total 28,500.

Despite friendly provisions, Mumbai fails to achieve the daily agenda

Mumbai increased and relaxed provisions to boost the beneficiary turnout- a vain effort. Despite establishing the system of walk-in appointments and elongating the work hours of vaccination booths, Mumbai was not able to achieve its set agenda of immunising 28,500 health care workers.

As per reports, glitches were reported in the CO-WIN app again, where several centres could not access the system until noon. This staggered the entire inoculation drive; the daily target at KEM Hospital was reduced from 500 to a smaller 300, read reports.

The BMC made several preparations to meet the city's vaccination agenda, where officials called more people than registered to cover up the absentee lag. This was facilitated by the database of 1.3 lac health care workers registered with the BMC. Officials stated that healthcare workers from nearby government and private can be called to fill in the slots left vacant by listed beneficiaries. Besides this, walk-in-appointments were also facilitated for health workers without appointments, who were interested in getting vaccinated. Provisions were also made for the same in the CO-WIN mobile application. As per reports, 200 jabs on Tuesday were administered under this new relaxation.

Need to boost people's agreeability to receive the vaccine

Though State Health Services Head refused to acknowledge hesitancy and refusal as concrete reasons for the low turnout, the state capital did register a few of them during the Tuesday drive. As per reports, about 6-7 refusals were reported at BY Nair Hospital and 2 at Babasaheb Ambedkar Hospital in Kandivali. Efforts were made to counsel those who developed apprehension towards the virus shot after the registration process.

The state believes that numbers will get better as soon as the CO-WIN app becomes more streamlined. Activities which develop confidence among people regarding the vaccine also need to be conducted, said State Health Principal Secretary. As of now, about 274 centres across Maharashtra are deployed to run the coronavirus vaccination drive which is in motion today as well.

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