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Maharashtra aims to vaccinate 28,500 on Day 1 at 285 centres

A total of 285 centres will be opened up for vaccination across Maharashtra on Saturday as state health officials are planning to immunise 28,500 people on the first day of the nationwide inoculation drive.

“The number of beneficiaries is less than our actual capacity or estimation as we don’t want to put too much load on the Co-WIN app. It has not been tested on such a large scale even in dry run. All centres will simultaneously upload data on the app,” a state official said. The number of total centres will rise to 358 across all 36 districts in the coming days.

Each centre is supposed to have at least five health workers, one vaccinator, one registration official, one to observe in post-vaccine period, security and an overall in-charge. While the drive will begin by 10.30am, it is expected to continue till 6pm in rural areas. “If we finish vaccination of all beneficiaries early, we may shut our centre early,” said Dr Raj Gehlot, district health officer in Chandrapur. Gehlot added that he has informed all major public and private hospitals to keep its staff informed about the vaccination. The hospital staff are supposed to receive information on the drive through SMSes as well.

In Bhandara, five centres have been shortlisted to start the vaccination process. A district official said they have been asked to vaccinate 500 people on the first day. On an average, each beneficiary requires 3-4 minutes to get an intramuscular shot. But the overall time — from registration till exit— may take longer.

In Solapur, district health officer Dr Shitalkumar Jadhav said the medical college will only provide Covaxin shot while district hospital and sub-district hospitals will administer Covishield shots.

State health minister Rajesh Tope said he will attend a video call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Jalna’s district hospital. The hospital’s vaccine centre has been selected for a two-way communication hub with the Prime Minister along with Mumbai’s RN Cooper Hospital on the first day of inoculation.

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