In a reply to a petition filed in Bombay High Court in the matter of door-to-door vaccination drive for bed-ridden people, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday informed the court through an affidavit that of the 4,889 people who registered for the campaign, 1,317 were vaccinated till August 9.
“Till August 9, a total of 4,889 people have registered themselves as beneficiaries for the door-to-door vaccination campaign for bedridden people. BMC has vaccinated 1,317 bedridden persons till August 9,” the affidavit read.
Further, the BMC, in the affidavit, mentioned that all the beneficiaries were being vaccinated while following all protocols set by the Maharashtra health department for the door-to-door vaccination programme.
“Till date, no AEFI (Adverse effect following immunization) has been reported in any of the vaccinated people under this drive,” the affidavit further read.
“NGO which is helping BMC in this drive is actually just to help the already-burdened BMC staff in the verification process and for follow-up calls to the beneficiaries,” it added.
BMC also requested the court to dismiss the petition with cost to the petitioner, lawyer Dhruti Kapadia.
During the hearing of the same today, the Chief Justice pulled up BMC for its demand of dismissing the petition with cost. The Chief Justice said, “We think that it might be a copy-paste, else how can the BMC demand to dismiss a petition with cost on which we have ordered and this vaccination drive has started.”
The BMC lawyer accepted the fault immediately after being pointed out by Chief Justice.
BMC has also been asked to tell the court that what more suggestions given by the petitioner does it intend to implement for its door-to-door vaccination drive.
The next hearing has been scheduled for September 9.
The petitioner, lawyer Dhruti Kapadia, had told the bench led by the Bombay High Court Chief Justice that there are some serious issues that need to be addressed at the earliest for smooth functioning of the door-to-door vaccination campaign and to make it reach all the needy people without any hassle.
“People who are bedridden for 15-20 years are not having any government ID cards and that is why they are not getting the benefit of this initiative though they are the most vulnerable,” the petitioner told High Court.
She further said the local doctors are not ready or hesitating to give prior medical fitness certificates to the bedridden, which is mandatory as per BMC policy and that is also affecting the drive.
“BMC has engaged NGOs for their door-to-door vaccination and there is no clarity on the roles and responsibilities of BMC and NGO for this door-to-door vaccination drive,” the petitioner said.
The petitioner, in its plea, also said that instead of email IDs, BMC should issue a call center helpline number for registration of bed-ridden beneficiaries of the COVID vaccine, which will make the drive more effective.