Mumbai civic body official: Initial phase and last mile are the most challenging | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Mumbai civic body official: Initial phase and last mile are the most challenging

ByJyoti Shelar
Nov 14, 2021 12:31 AM IST

According to Mumbai civic body immunisation officer Dr Sheela Jagtap, the last mile coverage is the biggest challenge BMC faces now

Mumbai: From storing vaccines to going all-digital were some of the big challenges faced by the city’s civic authorities in the adult vaccination drive against the Covid pandemic, Dr Sheela Jagtap, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) immunisation officer said.

In April, a central storage facility was opened at Kanjurmarg in Mumbai by the civic body. (HT FILE)
In April, a central storage facility was opened at Kanjurmarg in Mumbai by the civic body. (HT FILE)

“When the drive began in Mumbai, storing the vaccines was a major challenge. The city had a small cold storage facility at BMC’s F-South ward office in Parel, where the Covid-19 vaccines were stored in the initial phase. In April, a central storage facility was opened at Kanjurmarg. Both Covishield and Covaxin have to be stored in two to eight degrees Celsius. The Kanjurmarg facility was equipped with two walk-in coolers which could store up to 10 million vaccine doses,” Jagtap said.

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This national vaccination programme was also unique in its all-digital approach. For civic authorities around the country, this meant collecting and entering information at a scale that they hadn’t done before. “The Centre had given us a template to update all data like mobile numbers, Aadhar number etc, which would then be uploaded on the CoWin portal. At a time, the system allowed us to enter details of 1000 beneficiaries only. And even if a digit was missed in any phone number, or any other incorrect information was entered, it would reject the upload entirely,” Jagtap said. To make things smoother, the civic body used master trainers “in data uploading processes”. “It also helped that beneficiaries could upload their own details at later stage of the drive,” she said.

According to Jagtap, the last mile coverage is the biggest challenge the civic body faces now. “There could be some hesitancy. We now hope to reach up to the last vaccinated person by house-to-house drive.”

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