Mumbai will have drive-in vaccination centres, maybe as soon as within 24 hours. That is the deadline given by the city’s civic body to its officials, who were told to have it ready in each administrative zone. The civic body has decided to keep the blueprint ready even though the state, like many others, is struggling with limited supply of the vaccine.
Drive-in vaccination centres will be set up in big open grounds — such as the Andheri Sports Club ground, Cooperage ground, Shivaji Stadium, Oval Maidan, Brabourne stadium, MIG ground, MCA ground, Reliance JIO garden or even the Wankhede stadium, the Brihanmumbai Corporation has said.
Adequate and proper temporary shelter shall be provided for in the vaccination area to accommodate vaccination staff, arrangement for patients of AEFI, ambulance etc, the civic body has said.
Maharashtra got its first drive-in vaccination centre this week at Dadar. The success of the project pushed the civic body to adopt it for the country’s financial capital.
The centre has the capacity vaccinate nearly 5,000 people in a day with minimum risk of infection that would have been present in crowded places and long queues.
While the first drive-in vaccination centre was meant for senior citizens and specially-abled people, the authorities feel that with the central government opening up vaccination for the 18-45-year age group, the rush will be difficult to cater to at the hospitals and health centres in terms of maintaining all safety protocols.
Mumbai, which bore the brunt of the first wave of Covid, has made a remarkable turnaround and fended off the second wave.
Where other metros — starting with national capital Delhi — has landed in deep crisis amid skyrocketing daily surge and an overstretched healthcare system, Mumbai has brought its positivity rate down to one of the lowest in the country. Its oxygen management has been held up as exemplary by the courts even though the rest of Maharashtra has been struggling.
Now the Maharashtra government wants to push ahead with the vaccination programme, which has been flagged by health experts as one of the surest ways of increasing the safety quotient.