Navi Mumbai has become the first city in the MMR region to have all its citizens over 18 years of age vaccinated with the first dose of Covid vaccine. The city is racing towards full vaccination with Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) reporting that more than half the population has also taken the second dose.

In all, 11,07,233 residents have taken the first dose of Covid vaccine, giving the city 100.02% vaccination rate amongst those over 18 years of age, according to NMMC. Of these 5,76,567 have also taken the second dose, i.e. 52.08% of the eligible population.

Said municipal commissioner, Abhijit Bangar, “It is certainly very comforting, especially in view of the third wave threat. We had gone all out with our efforts and active participation of the residents to complete the vaccination to avoid the third wave or at least to reduce the impact.

“September and October have been landmark months with more than 3.5 lakh doses being given in just a month and a half. We ensured that more vaccination centres were opened so that they were close to the residences. In case of shortages, we ensured a balance of first and second dose. Those above 45 years of age were given preference initially.

“We identified the super-spreader categories and vaccinated them and also facilitated the vaccination of seriously ill patients in their homes. There was constant review of the situation amongst all officials and departments.”

On the plans ahead, Bangar said, “Fortunately, the third wave has been extended. We are confident that we will complete the second dose as well soon. The availability of doses is not an issue any more. The only restraint is that there is a gap of 84 days. We will complete it as soon as the residents are eligible.”

Appealing to the residents, he said, “We should not get complacent as there are news reports that a third wave will not come. I still believe that it will come, it is just a matter of time. Of course, the severity can be less due to vaccination.

“We should try to totally avoid it. Why take a chance? Take all precautions and efforts to postpone it as far as possible. Our vaccination drive for not just the second dose but also the first will continue in view of the presence of a floating population in Navi Mumbai.”

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