MUMBAI: Healthcare workers can now walk into any of the hospitals offering Covid-19 vaccines for their shots. In a bid to quicken the pace of vaccination, BMC health authorities on Friday eased the earlier rule that healthcare workers could only get vaccinated at the hospital-centre assigned to them by the Co-WIN software. “The only requirement is the healthcare worker should be pre-registered with the Co-WIN app,’’ said BMC executive health officer Dr Mangala Gomare.
This is the second time the BMC has relaxed rules since the vaccination drive began on January 16. A few days back, it allowed walk-in appointments for pre-registered medical staff, doing away with the need for a prior appointment (assigned by Co-WIN).
The new measure was welcomed by doctors. “I got an SMS from the BMC stating I could go to any of the centres for my vaccine,’’ said a doctor waiting at KEM Hospital, Parel.
BKC jumbo facility dean Dr Rajesh Dere said that allowing doctors to walk into centres of their choice would not only make it convenient for most, but also add to the footfall. On Friday, 238 of the 350 who got vaccinated at the BKC centre had walked in. They could be vaccinated using the ‘allot beneficiary’ option despite their names not being there in the daily list that ward offices share with the vaccination centres. However, 64 beneficiaries were sent back as their names were not registered in Co-WIN.
To make things smoother, the BMC also plans to put up the names of the pre-registered healthcare workers on its Covid website.
At the centre in Sion Hospital, Dr Sanjay Oak, who is the head of the Covid taskforce, couldn’t find his name in Co-WIN initially. “There are software issues still. But what will really drive up the numbers is starting more sites and centres, including in the private sector, for more flexibility,” he said. Dr Oak said that once the issue of registration was sorted out, his vaccination went on smoothly at Sion Hospital.
A prior intimation sent out 2-3 days before the vaccination day could also help with turnout. “At present, people have less than two to 12 hours to come to the centres. For doctors and staffers who have planned surgeries, this could be a hindrance,” Dere said.