Mumbai To speed up inoculation among children between the age of 12-15 years, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to arrange free vaccination camps in schools, including municipal and private ones, from March 23 onwards.
The BMC had started inoculating beneficiaries between the 12-15 years age group from March 16. To date, 3,343 children from the specified age group were administered the jab. Out of the total, 3,180 or 95 per cent of the students took their dose from civic-run facilities and the remaining were inoculated at private and government-run centers.
Senior officials of the BMC said that there are 3,50,000-4,00,000 children in Mumbai that are eligible for the vaccine. “Setting up camps in schools will enable us to reach out to more children within a short time span,” said a senior BMC official.
The BMC has circulated an email ID- firstname.lastname@example.org and have appealed to school authorities to send a request with an approximate number of beneficiaries. Officials said that after they receive the email, a date will be allotted.
Meanwhile, senior officials from the education department directed all the designated ward officers to prepare a list of schools in their wards and have asked the local school authorities to make arrangements to set up camps at the earliest.
“We held meetings with the parents and management of private schools and have asked them to prepare a schedule for the same. Now that board examinations are also underway, we will have to make sure that vaccination drives don’t affect the other regular operations of the schools,” said the official.
Suresh Kakani, the additional municipal commissioner, said, “We are also looking forward to holding a collective vaccination drive by including multiple schools. In many schools, the number of eligible students is less so they can collaborate with nearby schools and reach out to us for a joint camp.” He added that only children who are born on or before March 15, 2010, will be eligible.
The BMC has also roped in NGO Project Mumbai for logistic assistance. Project Mumbai earlier had partnered with BMC during the door-to-door vaccination drive and arranged camps inside college campuses and Arthur Road Prison, Byculla.
Shishir Joshi, CEO of the NGO, said on Wednesday that the first camp will be arranged at Little Angels School, Sion, where approximately 400 beneficiaries will be inoculated.
“The BMC is providing us with the vaccines and we are implementing the drive at the ground level. The civic authorities are preparing a list of schools and forwarding it to us on a regular basis and based on these lists, we are setting up camps,” said Joshi.