Home » As schools reopen, BMC to ramp up 12-18 age group vaccination | Mumbai news

As schools reopen, BMC to ramp up 12-18 age group vaccination | Mumbai news

As schools reopen, BMC to ramp up 12-18 age group vaccination | Mumbai news

Mumbai:

Mumbai As schools have reopened after summer vacations and Covid cases are also on the rise in the state, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is on a war-footing to vaccinate 12-18 years olds, as the civic body has set June 30 as the deadline to complete inoculating civic school students with at least the first dose.

Currently, the data collected from municipal schools shows that 47.27% (53,728) students in the 12–15-year category have taken their first dose and 20.40% (23,190) have taken their second dose. In the 15-18 age group, 67.88% have taken their first dose and 44% the second dose.

“We have planned to conduct inoculation sessions at schools in coordination with the administrative officers of the school and principals. We are targeting completion of vaccination of all municipal school students by June 30,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, executive health officer, BMC.

The civic body has also asked the deputy director of schools to furnish vaccination data from private schools. “Collection of data is in process. Once we get the same, we will plan the vaccination drive for the private schools,” said Dr Gomare. Meanwhile, at the civic ward level, health post workers have been assigned the task of counselling parents of children who have not been vaccinated.

“We are getting a list of children who have not taken vaccines. Our health post workers connect with parents and try to understand the reasons for not vaccinating their child,” said a health officer from M/E ward.

He said that they either visit the house or counsel parents over the phone. “We have observed that most of the time, hesitancy is because they have read something online. We counsel them on the safety aspects of the vaccine and encourage them to get their child jabbed,” he added.

Cases in the state took a dip with Maharashtra reporting 3,883 fresh cases and two deaths on Saturday, with the state’s active cases tally at 22,828. The city reported 2,054 cases, a marginal decrease from the previous day, and two deaths.

After witnessing a test positive rate (TPR) of above 15%, Mumbai saw a drop at 14.3% on Saturday. The city continued low testing as 14,345 tests were conducted.

Among the two deaths- a 90-year-old male who had diabetes and hypertension and a 54-year-old male who had chronic kidney disease and hypertension.

“Most of the daily cases are still asymptomatic and people are recovering within two to three days. While the present Covid strain is milder, we need to be cautious with the vulnerable population. Most deaths have happened among senior citizens and people with co-morbidities,” said Dr Kedar Toraskar, critical care specialist at Wockhardt Hospital and state Covid task force member. The city presently has 13,613 active cases out of which 587 are in hospital and 71 on oxygen beds.

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“The only way to bring down the spread of this infection is through masking and vaccination. We sincerely urge people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour,” said Dr Gautam Bhansali, the chief coordinator of private hospitals for vaccination and Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Dr Bakul Parekh, state paediatric task force member, said that the vaccine is to prevent the severity of the disease. “We strongly recommend parents to vaccinate their children. We are also advocating vaccination as part of the Indian Academy of Paediatricians. While hesitancy with vaccines does exist, we are seeing a change in attitude with rising Covid cases. Parents are more forthcoming now,” he said.

Shishir Joshi, CEO and founder of NGO Project Mumbai, which is working with BMC on organising vaccination camps in schools, said that vaccination is a must in view of non-adherence to wearing masks, reopening of schools and rising cases.

“The only option to boost immunity, of yours and others, is for children to get vaccinated. Schools and parents have been reaching out to us to plan camps,” he said.

The Covid vaccine programme for adolescents (15-18 years) was rolled out in January and on March 18 for 12–15-year-olds. Till June 18, 125851 in the age group 12-15 and 388936 in the age group 15-18 have taken their first shot in Mumbai. Around 60021 in the 12-15 age group and 290939 in the age group 15-18 have taken their second shot.

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