To avoid getting vaccinated, many potential beneficiaries are providing incorrect mobile numbers while registering on the centralised app, Co-WIN, or not answering calls made by ward officers to inform them about their appointment, according to civic officials.
Currently, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is vaccinating both healthcare workers (HCWs) and Frontline Workers (FLWs) simultaneously at 21 vaccination centres. Due to the technical glitch in the Co-WIN app, 24 ward offices individually call the shortlisted candidates for vaccination a day prior to their immunisation date. Many HCWs and FLWs are forced to register for inoculation by their supervisors, but they provide incorrect individual details to avoid the process later. The Co-WIN app doesn’t have the mechanism to check the authenticity of mobile numbers during the registration process.
Civic officials say that almost 20% remain unreachable on their registered phone numbers on the Co-WIN app. “For instance, on any given day, we call 500 registered HCWs and FLWs, 10% don’t answer their phones, while another 10% numbers are incorrect,” said a senior BMC officer. “If they provide an incorrect number, the Co-WIN app can’t send the message about the date of their appointment,” said the officer.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC, said, “Our priority is people who are willing to get vaccinated. Currently, we don’t want to engage our resources for such people. We are getting very good response through walk-ins and gradually, the overall turnout is also increasing.”
Two hospitals inoculate 10,000 people
Meanwhile, Rajawadi hospital at Ghatkopar and Kandivali-based Bharat Ratna Babasaheb Ambedkar (BDBA) hospital (also known as Shatabdi Hospital, have set a record by inoculating over 10,000 beneficiaries in the first 16 sessions of the drive. According to BMC vaccination data, the highest, 10,695 beneficiaries, have been vaccinated at Rajawadi Hospital, followed by 10,694 at BDBA hospital, 9,783 at King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital and 9,600 at BYL Nair hospital.
Officials believe as most HCWs stay in the western and eastern suburbs, they prefer visiting the centres nearest to their residence. Also, they are quite close to the nearby railway stations. Thus, these two hospitals have got the most number of beneficiaries.
“Initially, there were only two vaccination centres in the suburbs— Cooper hospital in Vile Parle and BDBA in Kandivli. But as BDBA was closer to them, most beneficiaries from the suburbs preferred it. Our hospital gets public from five populated zones like Jogeshwari, Goregaon, Malad, Kandivli, Borivali and Dahisar which helped us achieve the 10,000 mark,” said Dr Pratibha Patil, medical superintendent, BDBA.