Mumbai jabbed 99% of target but how many beneficiaries were from city? | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Mumbai jabbed 99% of target but how many beneficiaries were from city?

ByJyoti Shelar, Mumbai
Nov 02, 2021 10:07 PM IST

A large number of beneficiaries from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and other parts of the state have taken the jabs in the city

Mumbai is inching closer to 100% Covid-19 vaccination coverage, with most people having received at least one dose. However, civic officials are puzzled over the accurate number of citizens from the city who have been actually vaccinated. Reason: A large number of people from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and other parts of the state have taken the jabs in Mumbai, thus, the number of doses administered may not mean the same as the number of Mumbai residents vaccinated.

As on Tuesday, the city had administered 9.1 million first doses, taking the vaccination coverage of Mumbai to 99% (HT PHOTO)
As on Tuesday, the city had administered 9.1 million first doses, taking the vaccination coverage of Mumbai to 99% (HT PHOTO)

Mumbai’s estimated adult population eligible for vaccination is 9.2 million. As of Tuesday, the city had administered 9.1 million first doses, taking the vaccination coverage to 99%. The number of second doses administered in Mumbai stood at 5.6 million, and altogether, the city had administered 14.7 million doses, according to the CoWIN dashboard.

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The civic body estimates that about 10% of the doses administered in Mumbai were for people outside the city. “But 10% is also a very rough estimate,” additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani told HT. “Instead of getting into how many people from outside have taken the vaccine in the city, we have decided to focus on taking the vaccination coverage much beyond 100% to ensure that we cover all citizens,” he said.

According to Kakani, the vaccination trend is the same as the one seen in active Covid-19 patients and the number of admissions in the city. “Many patients hospitalised in Mumbai are from out of the city,” he said, adding that Mumbai residents, too, have taken Covid-19 jabs outside the city.

“Mumbai has a floating population and there is a lot of travel between Mumbai and its periphery as well as from other parts of the state,” said vaccination expert Dr Naveen Thacker.

“The focus must therefore be on vaccinating as many people as possible, instead of singling out the number of people in the city who have got the doses. Evaluation of the coverage at a micro-level can be conducted after a few months, and strategies can be developed. But it is not essential at the moment,” he said.

State strategizes for districts with < 50% coverage

Ahead of the review meeting by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on Wednesday, the Maharashtra government has planned various strategies for districts with less than 50% vaccination coverage. The strategies include flexible timings for vaccination drives, a cluster-based approach focussing on groups of four to five villages at a time, increasing mobile vaccination drives, offering incentives such as fast queues at ration shops for vaccinated persons among others.

Among the 40 districts with below 50% vaccination coverage in India, five are from Maharashtra. These include Akola, Buldhana, Nandurbar, Hingoli and Aurangabad. PM plans to interact with the district magistrates of all the 40 districts. The chief ministers of the states will also be present at the review.

“We had a meeting with the five districts on Monday to discuss specific issues and plan ahead in order to improve the coverage,” said N Ramaswami, commissioner, National Health Mission.

“There is a very minor gap for these districts to reach the 50% coverage. We found that vaccine hesitancy is not the main issue. There are other factors that have contributed to the low coverage. For instance, the floods in Aurangabad in August disturbed the vaccination drive. Also, the vaccination picked up late in these districts which is why they are slightly behind,” he said adding that the state has administered over 98 million doses so far, and the focus now will be on the districts lagging behind.

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