Plans under way to launch mobile units and a new online portal to track vaccine stocks, and for pre-registrations
The Greater Chennai Corporation plans to administer at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all eligible residents in the next 72 days by increasing the number of vaccination sessions, introducing mobile units for slum residents and opening a portal to keep the public updated on stock availability.
Currently, the number of vaccination sessions has decreased because of issues in the supply of vaccines. On Sunday, residents reported that sessions were not held in many zones.
For instance, just one session was held in several zones on Sunday. The vaccine stock had reduced to just 7,680 on Saturday evening, with many zones such as Adyar having no Covishield vial at all. Anna Nagar zone had a stock of 230 Covishield and no Covaxin doses.
Thiru. Vi. Ka. Nagar zone, with a stock of 1,740 Covishield doses, had the highest number in the city by Saturday evening.
As a result, officials informed residents that the schedule for vaccination was not readied on Sunday in many zones. The Corporation conducted 98 vaccination sessions on Sunday, including at 45 adhoc centres, 19 community health centres, 5 area camps, 6 government hospitals and 23 special camps. A total of 8,290 residents received their vaccination in the city on Sunday.
Officials said the Corporation plans to increase the number of vaccination sessions in the next 72 days. Tele-counselling volunteers have started tracking at least 50,000 residents who are yet to get the second dose and will help them receive it in a few days. “The number of vaccinations is dynamic and completely supply driven. We intend to have one centre in each ward. To begin with, we are doing in 65 and will augment, based on supply,” an official said. “The proposed portal will capture availability of vaccines as they are received from the government for all 65 centres. We are also planning a pre-booking option through phone and WhatsApp. This is expected to be up in the coming week,” he added. Vaccines would be distributed to the 65 centres on Monday.
For a list of walk-in vaccination centres, visit http://covid19.chennaicorporation.gov.in/covid/vaccine_centers/
Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said the number of vaccination sessions was set to increase on Monday.
“The Corporation received 40,380 doses of vaccine on June 18, which were distributed immediately, and 30,740 persons were vaccinated on Saturday. The remaining vaccinations are being done at urban community health centres (UCHCs) today,” he said.
The Standard Operating Procedures for vaccination were maintained by ensuring that each zone had vaccines in UCHCs, three prominent places within the zone, such as schools, colleges or community halls, and prominent places selected in coordination with social service organisations, such as the Rotary and Lions clubs, resident welfare associations and public representatives.
“The percentage of two-dose vaccinations of 8% in Chennai is one of the highest in the country. In fact, our need for vaccines is much higher than what the State and the city are able to procure. Now, we are running 65 centres parallelly, and efficiency is high in these centres so our stock depletes the same day we receive it,” Mr. Bedi said.
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