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Mumbai: Next target is slum areas to speed up vax drive

02:16 AM Oct 14, 2021 | Swapnil Mishra

As part of the recently launched state government’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign called Mission Kavach Kundal, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation plans to inoculate 1.5-2 lakh beneficiaries every day. The civic body has directed its ward officers to organise camps in slum areas and create awareness about vaccination against coronavirus. For the next four days, though, only four lakh doses are available for the city.

As far as the slums are concerned, a civic survey states there are 2,397 clusters in the city. The K-West ward has the maximum number (281) of slums. This ward comprises Andheri West, Juhu, Vile Parle and Versova. The P-North Ward, which is spread over Malad and surrounding areas, has 212 slum clusters, while L ward in Kurla has 208.

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As per the city’s vaccination data, so far 1.38 crore eligible citizens have been vaccinated across Mumbai since January, when the mass immunisation drive began. Of these, 88.37 lakh have taken the first dose and 49.84 lakh are fully vaccinated.

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Speaking to FPJ about increasing the pace of the drive in the coming days, Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said the civic body is aiming to reach out to those who are still not aware of the importance of Covid-19 vaccination. These efforts, he said, will include temporary immunisation centres at public places near slums. “We believe that by Diwali, in the first week of November, the entire eligible population in the city would have taken at least their first dose,” he said, adding that the entire city population will possibly get vaccinated by February 2022, provided the supply remains the same as September.

A senior health officer from the civic health department said they have been given the target of vaccinating more than 10,000 people in each slum, so the time and session of the vaccination drive should be decided at the ward level. “We have been asked to take various measures to achieve the target and to motivate the maximum number of beneficiaries. Moreover, we have to create awareness through various social media platforms,” the officer said.

He added that slum residents have been informed about the nearest testing centres and the need to get vaccinated. “We are using corporate social responsibility avenues and hospitals to reach slum pockets. We plan to deploy 35 personnel each day so that maximum number can be covered,” the officer added.

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