Health, frontline workers bear brunt of software lags

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As the next phase of vaccination began Monday, health workers and frontline workers also bore the brunt of software lags, despite having a scheduled vaccination appointments.

Mumbai has 43 vaccination centres. The CoWIN software began functioning in most centres after noon. As the number of walk-ins of senior citizens and people with co-morbidities surged, counters fell short to continue vaccination for frontline and health workers.

At NESCO centre in Goregaon, Mohan S Bhasal, a BEST employee, waited three hours and his turn had still not come. “We have to report for duty by afternoon. It looks like we will have to skip lunch and wait here,” he said.

BEST employee Sartaj Shaikh waited two hours. “Our vaccination was scheduled today, I have the message. But the counter is so busy that we have no option but to wait,” he said.

At NESCO centre, the pre-vaccination area fell short of chairs. Health workers and frontline workers made way for senior citizens and stood in a queue for their turn.

Baba Harish Jain, a BMC employee in the motor loading department, reached vaccination centre at 10 am. He was still waiting till 1 pm. “There is chaos. Officials are shouting token numbers. There is no system to display token numbers,” he said.

Prakash Dahlia and Dinesh Dangiya, both cleaners with BMC, faced similar issues in Seven Hills hospital. “They told us to wait until the software starts functioning. There is a long queue of elderly people. I took leave today for vaccination,” Dangiya said.

Seven Hills could vaccinate only 216 health and frontline workers, half the usual numbers. The hospital focussed more on senior citizens and comorbid population, vaccinating 450 of them on Monday.

Milind Chavan, immunisation officer in Palghar, said they could vaccinate only 300 frontline and health workers in 11 centres. Usually the district immunises over 1,000 people a day. “We could vaccinate 82 senior citizens. We had to request most to come again tomorrow. The software started working late, a lot of health and frontline workers left without their dose,” Chavan said.



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