The third phase of vaccination in Maharashtra took off on Saturday with only a small number of centres inoculating about a few hundred at each centre. Huge queues and confusion around appointments marked the experience on Day 1 of universal Covid-19 vaccination in Maharashtra.
State capital Mumbai started vaccinations from around 2 pm at only five BMC-run centres, which had a target of 200 vaccinations per centre. BKC covid vaccination centre (CVC), Nair Hospital, Seven Hills Hospital, Cooper Hospital and Rajawadi Hospital were the only five spots that did vaccinations on Saturday.
People started queuing up at Seven Hills from 8 am in the morning. Many people queued up at Nair Hospital even after their time slots were cancelled. They had managed to book appointments last night, but received cancellation messages on Saturday morning. Television channels reported that similar confusion plagued Pune's CVCs too.
In Nashik, those in 18-45 did online registration and got tokens but vaccination didn't start till late in the day, there's a limited quantity of doses. Only two centres of 55 in Nashik city are giving doses for those above 18 years.
Journalist Yatin Mota tweeted that he managed to get his jab at Nair hospital after a 45-minute wait in a queue.
Dr Ramesh Bharmal, Dean, BYL Nair hospital said they had received vaccine doses on Friday evening following which they directed their staff to give these doses only to registered beneficiaries who are between 18 to 44 years of age. “We have been instructed to give jab only to the first 200 registered beneficiaries between 18 to 44 years of age. However there will be no walk-in registration at the centre,” he said.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar has urged citizens not to rush to vaccination centres after the drive resumes for all. Mumbai has paused vaccinations above 45 years for the time being and on May 1 carried out a handful of vaccinations in five centers.
“Even after the availability of vaccine stocks, when vaccination starts, Mumbaikars should not rush to the vaccination centres unnecessarily. I appeal to everyone to leave the house only after receiving the message from the vaccination centre and confirming the availability of the vaccine after registering on the Co-win app,” said Pednekar.
Pednekar had said last week that although BMC is planning to place a few mobile vans at various places in Mumbai in the third phase of vaccination.