Pune vaccine shortage: From last-minute suspension to unending wait, people struggle to get the jab

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has shortly closed the vaccination drive informing Punekars that there will be no vaccine centres open on Monday
Pune vaccine shortage: From last-minute suspension to unending wait, people struggle to get the jab
Senior citizens rushed to Sassoon Hospital to receive the jab of COVID-19 vaccine in Pune (File pic)Image by Vishwajeet Pawar

Pune: Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has shortly closed the vaccination drive informing Punekars that there will be no vaccine centres open on Monday. The uncertainty around getting vaccinated even after following the due diligence has left many feel helpless in Pune.

Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol on his Twitter handle wrote, “Due to shortage in supply of vaccines to Pune Municipal Corporation, on Monday. On May 17, 2021, all vaccination centres in Pune Municipal Corporation limit will be closed. Citizens of Pune should take note.” The long queues of beneficiaries outside vaccination centres, which includes elderly and people with comorbidity, show the suffering of the common man amid shortage and second wave of COVID looming large.

Senior citizens rushed to Sassoon Hospital to receive the jab of COVID-19 vaccine in Pune (File pic)
Confusion and long queues: Slot booking disrupts Pune’s vaccination drive

Shashikant Deshpande from Pune said, “When I reached the vaccination centre, I got know that there aren’t any doses available. When I asked officials at the centre and told them I have a slot - they didn’t give any explanation, just informed doses are out of stock,” the 62-year-old expressed.

Another resident from Pune who wished to remain unnamed said, “I am due for my second dose of the vaccine but since the last one week, there has been an acute shortage. I have been repeatedly going to inoculation centres and returning empty-handed. While the doses were registered as limited last week, there is no stock at all this time and many centres are not functioning.”

VACCINATION CLOSED IN MUMBAI, PUNE

The Mumbai civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has halted the COVID-19 vaccination drive amid Cyclone Tauktae.

The government vaccination centres will remain closed on May 15 and 16. “2-3 private centres are continuing with their vaccinations but all govt centers will be closed for vaccination today and tomorrow. We are focusing on the people due for their second dose. Elderly people and people with comorbidities are also on our priority,” Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar was quoted as saying by ANI.

There are 260 inoculation centres active in Mumbai where 28,41,349 people have received jabs including 23,924 on Friday. On the other hand, “All vaccination centers in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad will remain closed tomorrow due to the shortage of vaccine doses, say municipal corporations of Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad,” ANI quoted.

Considering the acute shortage of vaccines, the Maharashtra state government has already decided to suspend vaccination for age group of 18 to 44 and use the doses to vaccinate beneficiaries who’s second dose is incomplete. It is expected that this move will provide relief to senior citizens.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Sunday registered drop in new COVID-19 cases but the state's deaths kept mounting to cross 81,000 mark, though there was also a rise in the recovery rate, according to the health officials.

Against 960 deaths on Saturday, the state deaths were at 974, taking the tally to 81,486 now. Remaining below the 50,000-level, the cases gone down from 34,848 to 34,389, to take the tally to 3,78,452 now.

After three days, the state death rate decreased from 1.51 per cent to 1.52 per cent now, though the number of active cases also dropped from 494,032 to 468,109.

Meanwhile 59,318 fully recovered patients, again higher than the number of new infections, returned home, taking the tally to 48,26,371, while the recovery rate further improved from 89.02 per cent to 89.74 per cent now.

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