In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has started a COVID-19 vaccination drive for homeless people and beggars where its officials first counsel them and after getting their consent, collect their biometric data and inoculate them.
The drive was rolled out from its Belapur division last week. “The corporation is taking care not to leave out a single person. We have already vaccinated 250 chemists and our next target is those working in salons,” NMMC Commissioner Abhijit Bangar said.
A team of doctors and nurses has been set up to visit the places identified by the NMMC’s social development department to vaccinate homeless people.
“The most difficult part is to convince them. There are also drug addicts who cannot be administered doses as they can be prone to complications arising out of vaccination. On the first day, 103 people were counselled but only 14 agreed to get themselves vaccinated,” Mr. Bangar said.
The Commissioner said a software to collect biometric details (fingerprints) had been developed at the corporation level. “We also register their names on the government portal before vaccination,” he added.
NGOs have also been roped in to identify homeless people. Till now, 74 such people have been vaccinated by the NMMC.
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