At 10 Mumbai centres, over 1,900 vaccinated: ‘Entire experience was like a picnic’

On Saturday, 4,000 beneficiaries, including doctors, nurses, paramedics and healthcare staffers, were expected to turn up at the 10 designated vaccine centres across Mumbai for inoculation. However, only 1,926 — 560 from Mumbai city and 1,266 in Mumbai Suburban — turned up for vaccination, making Mumbai the only city in the state with a turnout of less than 50 per cent.

1) Babasaheb Ambedkar Kandivali Shatabdi centre: 266 Vaccinated

In Babasaheb Ambedkar Kandivali Shatabdi hospital, Medical Superintendent Dr Pratima Patil said 266 people out of the 500 who were sent text messages came for vaccination. Five people, who were pregnant or lactating, were not eligible for vaccination. “The entire experience was like a picnic. Everybody enjoyed the whole process of vaccination. We had no adverse event, not even mild ones,” Patil said.

The beneficiaries were a mix of government and private healthcare workers. “The entire list was prepared by local ward office. They manually texted each beneficiary to visit the centre,” a civic official said.

The data of all the beneficiaries could not be uploaded on the Co-Win app in real time and the centre recorded details of all beneficiaries on paper. They will now upload this data on a Google sheet and mail it to BMC headquarters, where the final data will be uploaded.

2) Sion Hospital: 188 vaccinated

Dean Dr Mohan Joshi was the first of the 400 registered to get vaccinated on Saturday in Sion Hospital. The hospital kept its vaccination centre open until 8 pm. Following the dean’s shot, mostly professors and lecturers in the hospital were given the intramuscular jab. “In our centre, apart from text messages, people also got a call from BMC ward office to remind us of our shot. My call came at 6 in the morning,” Joshi said.

A resident doctor from the hospital said they did not notice severe adverse event in any beneficiary. The hospital has posted resident doctors and nurses on a month long duty for vaccination.

The community medicine department is handling the entire vaccination process. Doctors working in Dharavi will mostly be directed to Sion Hospital for their inoculation.

3) Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC): 220 vaccinated

The centre was expecting 500 health workers on the first day of immunisation. Dr Madhura Patil (26), who is a dietician in the Asian Heart Institute Hospital, was the first beneficiary at BKC and got her shot in the presence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Many beneficiaries arrived at the centre early morning. However, chaos reigned in the morning after last-minute changes were made to the site of the launch event that was to be presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Just before the Chief Minister was about to arrive, the authorities shifted the vaccination event place to a nearby room since they realised that the current room will not be able to handle the crowd gathered at the centre. This led to chaos in the centre with zero social distancing. However, the vaccination areas were not affected. The vaccination process occurred smoothly in the latter half of the day.

4) R N Cooper Hospital: 262 vaccinated:

BUILT AS a model centre for the vaccination process, the Dr R N Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle saw a red carpet entry and aarti thaalis for the beneficiaries on Day 1. With five of the 10 vaccination booths functioning on Day 1, the turnout from 11.15 am to 5 pm was 262 of the 500 listed. A majority of those who were vaccinated at the centre were staffers from Cooper Hospital, BMC’s health staff from K-West and K-East wards and healthcare workers from two private hospitals and one diagnostics laboratory conducting Covid-19 tests.

Most of those who got vaccinated said that they had received calls from the ward office informing them about their turn. Hospital staff had assigned various checks in place including tallying of names on the list with identification proofs of those being vaccinated and colour tokens denoting the booth they have to enter.

Hospital Dean Pinakin Gujjar said that no adverse effects were reported at the hospital. While the vaccination began at the centre with former Maharashtra health minister Dr Deepak Sawant, staffers from Cooper hospital who were vaccinated received the maximum cheers and wishes from their colleagues on duty at the centre. With the Co Win app not working at the hospital, the entire process was handled manually by the staff.

5) VN Desai Hospital: 80 vaccinated

While healthcare workers were informed that the process of vaccination would begin by 10 am, it began post 1 pm, delayed as the centre awaited being “inaugurated” by former mayor of the city, Vishwanath Mahadeshwar. The hospital has two vaccination booths and was expecting 200 persons on Day 1. Medical Superintendent Prashant More said that the total tally at the end of the day was 80 from both the booths. Most of those on the list at the hospital were staff members of the civic hospital, BMC health workers and staff from various maternity hospitals in the area.

They said that they had received calls from the ward office on Friday night and Saturday morning, asking them to remain present. The initial beneficiaries said that they had reached the hospital since 9.30 am and had to wait for the process to start. The first to be vaccinated were 56-year-old medical officer Madhav Karanth and 36-year old Vishal Jadhav, a doctor assigned with the casualty ward. Jadhav and his family members had been infected with Covid-19 in September and hospitalised. Most of those who got vaccinated were staff on-duty at their various health posts. They returned to their workplace post the mandatory 30 minutes observation period.

6) JJ Hospiral: 39 vaccinated

J J hospital was the earmarked centre for the inoculation of the indigenously-developed Covaxin. With last minute training on dosage and process of vaccination undertaken on Thursday night, JJ hospital at Byculla prepared itself to inoculate around 100 healthcare staffers from the hospital with Covaxin shots, on Saturday. However, only 39 were vaccinated. With only a hundred scheduled to be administered with the vaccine, JJ hospital centre did not face any crowding related issues.

With a small waiting area, two to three health workers walked in every half-an hour-for the vaccine to be administered. Once the name of the beneficiary was checked in the list of 100 enlisted for the first day of the drive, blood pressure, temperature and O2 levels were checked at the registration desk. As the Bharti Biotech’s Covaxin, which is yet to complete the last stage of the human clinical trials, was to be administered at the centre, beneficiaries also had to fill a written consent form. They were then directed to the vaccination booth set up in the next room and then to the observation room for half an hour. JJ Hospital Dean Ranjeet Mankeshawar was the first one at the centre to get the Covaxin, to dispel any fears. “The vaccine is absolutely safe and I have taken it myself. I am feeling fine and there is nothing to worry. This vaccine has been approved after due process.”

7) BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai Central: 190 vaccinated

A massive tent was set up at the Nair hospital, serving as the waiting area for the beneficiaries. The vaccination room had 10 chairs and seats each, placed in a row, with antibacterial curtains separating each set. In a bid to control crowding and lining up of beneficiaries outside the vaccination booths, each was provided with a token and were only released in the batches of three and maximum five. The centre also had a token display system and announcements for the beneficiaries.

Dr Lona dash, secretary, infection control and in charge of the centre said, “In the last few days I have received plenty of questions around the efficacy of the vaccine. The main being, should one wait more before getting the shot. I appeal to all the doctors, frontline/health workers, who are the lucky few to be enlisted, should get vaccinated. We have had an incident-free observation after the vaccine administration.”

8) KEM Hospital: 243 vaccinated

At King Edward Memorial hospital in Parel, the vaccination centre was set up on the second floor of the new building. Registration booths and waiting area were set up at the entrance of the building, to avoid crowding near the vaccination booths. A token display system was also installed at the centre to help the beneficiaries. At the frontline of Mumbai’s battle against the pandemic, this 95-year-old hospital was the major civic-run hospital in the city, which began admitting the Covid-19 patients.

With separate entry and exit, the hospital assured that each beneficiary completes the mandatory half an hour observation period. As many as 243 healthcare, doctors and frontline workers were administered the vaccine at the centre on Saturday.

9) Bhabha Hospital, Bandra: 149 vaccinated

At Bhabha Hospital, Bandra West, the immunization drive witnessed low turnout. The drive started around 11.30 am and a total 300 health workers were registered for the vaccination. However, at the end of the day (drive was stopped at 5 pm) 149 health staff had been vaccinated. Doctors from the hospital said that the numbers of beneficiaries will be gradually increased. No complaints of adverse reaction were received at the centre.

A doctor from Bhabha Hospital, who was supervising the vaccination drive, said that since many beneficiaries got late calls, they could not turn up for vaccination. “Many staff have night shifts so if they get a call late at night, then it was not possible for them to come today,” said the doctor. The centre was almost empty around 4.30 pm as no beneficiaries were there. Officials said that those who have missed their turn will be called at the end now.

“So far, it has been decided that total three calls will be made and messages will be sent on their numbers. If they missed that, then it will be assumed that they don’t want to be immunized,” said a doctor

10) Rajawadi Hospital : 289 vaccinated

As the day progressed, Rajawadi Hospital better managed the immunization programme for health workers arriving at the centre for inoculation. The hospital had set up electronic boards where token numbers of registered health workers were displayed, after which they were proceeding towards vaccination rooms. Many Anganwadi workers had also reached to take the first shot of the vaccine. Some of them were taking selfies while standing in a queue or at the waiting room. The token system made the things easier for both staff as well as beneficiaries. Rajawadi Hospital had registered 500 health staff for vaccination.

According to the doctors from BMC, no adverse impact has been observed on any health workers. Dr Vidya Thakur, medical superintendent of Rajawadi Hospital, was among the first of the health staff who got vaccinated at the centre.

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