Massive drop in vaccinations since the end of third wave prompts the move to hold camps at tourism spots; drive to start this coming week
Beneficiaries below 15 years at Kamgar Nagar Municipal School, Kurla. File pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Aiming to boost its anti-COVID vaccination drive for children and teenagers, the civic body has decided to hold camps at tourist hotspots in the city, including the Gateway of India and Rani Baug.
Sources from the BMC’s health department said the vaccination drive at tourist spots will start in the coming week.
The city witnessed a massive drop in the number of beneficiaries at the vaccination camps after the third COVID-19 wave abated. In February, 7,61,688 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 across the city, shows the civic data. However, in May (until May 26), only 1,72,006 Mumbaikars got their shots. The data shows a drop of 77 per cent in vaccinations in the past four months.
A kid gets his vaccine at Rajawadi Hospital, Ghatkopar. File pic
A civic official said, “There are multiple reasons for the drop in vaccination figures. After the third wave, there was a tremendous drop in COVID-19 infection, hence the fear of contracting the virus has almost vanished. The severity of the disease has reduced and most people are getting well with common medications.”
The official said that after being locked in their homes for nearly two years, most people are now more focussed on vacations and vaccination does not seem to be their priority now. “But people need to be more careful, because you never know what happens if the virus mutates. The adult population in Mumbai has taken both the doses of anti-COVID vaccine. Now, the population more vulnerable to the virus are citizens aged below 18 years, so parents should get their children vaccinated at the earliest,” he said.
According to the state health department’s data, there are 3,95,882 beneficiaries aged 12-14 years in Mumbai, and 1,07,637 of them have taken their first dose while 39,214 have got the second shot. Data also shows that 10,08,343 children aged 12-17 years are eligible for vaccination against COVID-19, however, 5,54,388 have not yet taken their first dose (as of May 22).
Dr Mangala Gomare, BMC’s executive health officer, said, “With focus to boost vaccinations among the teenagers and children, we are going to conduct vaccination camps at different tourist spots across the city.”
Besides, the BMC is waiting for the schools to reopen, as camps on the campuses get a good response and a large number of children are vaccinated under one roof.
No. of unvaccinated kids aged 12-17 years