Mumbai vaccinated just 24% teens, half of state’s average
A fortnight after the vaccination drive to inoculate the age group of 15 to 17 years started, Mumbai has managed to cover just about 24% of its target
Mumbai A fortnight after the vaccination drive to inoculate the age group of 15 to 17 years started, Mumbai has managed to cover just about 24% of its target. The city’s first dose coverage in this category is much below the state’s average at 43% and some other districts like Thane (45%) and Pune (44%), that have administered double the number of doses compared to Mumbai.
Maharashtra’s target population is over six million and the state had administered over two million doses to beneficiaries between 15 to 17 years by Monday evening. Thane with a target of 5,00,000 had administered 2,27,566 doses while Pune with a target of 5,53,190 had administered 2,44,510 doses.
Mumbai’s civic body had first estimated its target as 9,00,000. It revised its target based on the numbers given by the state government to 6,12,000. As of Monday evening, Mumbai had administered 146,618 doses.
“Two factors are driving the younger crowd to vaccination centres- awareness and anxiety among parents,” said the state’s immunisation officer Dr Sachin Desai. “Some districts like Pune and Thane opened their vaccination drive for minors with over 100 centres, while Mumbai started with less than 10 centres in the beginning. Also, other districts had tied up with schools and colleges to conduct the drives, which proved beneficial,” he said.
FOr instance in Thane, the health authorities had tied up with schools and colleges much in advance before the vaccination drive started on January 3. “We had taken the authorities and parents in confidence before rolling out the drive,” said Thane collector Rajesh Narvekar. “Even as the schools and colleges are not fully operational, special sessions are being organised in smaller groups,” he said.
According to Narvekar, the drive for minors started at a time when the adult vaccination had hit saturation levels. “We could direct all our focus on the 15 to 17 age group,” he said.
The Centre has approved Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for the 15 to 17 age group. “Initially, we only had the jumbo centres where the minors could get vaccinated, but now we have increased the number of centres to 139,” said Mumbai’s executive health officer Dr Mangala Gomare, adding that the pace of the drive will pick up in the coming days.
“We have asked for more centres to hold camps at ward level so that youngsters don’t have to travel much to get the jabs,” she said.
The state currently has a stock of over two million Covaxin doses, including 1,75,000 in Mumbai. State health officials said that this stock will suffice for a week and more is anticipated.