A New Drive-In Vaccination Centre Just Opened Up In Navi Mumbai, And We Went There
Modified On May 07, 2021 11:30 AM By CarDekho
Socially distanced and free -- why aren’t other cities doing this already?
Earlier this week, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) set up Mumbai’s first drive-in coronavirus vaccination centre in the Kohinoor Tower parking lot in Dadar West. Now, two new drive-in facilities have opened up in Navi Mumbai’s Grand Central and Inorbit malls. Our own team member, Arun Nadar, from ZigWheels, went to the latter to get his parents a jab on the first day. Only about 15 cars were in the queue and the process was smooth, he says.
To get vaccinated, you have to register on the government’s Cowin application and select one of the drive-in centres. On the day of vaccination, you can drive up to the parking lot and collect a token from the New Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) personnel stationed at the lot, and wait your turn. Although the state-provided vaccine is free, you might have to pay to park your car for half an hour after getting the shot.
Yesterday, the BMC directed such centres to be opened in each administrative zone in the greater Mumbai area within 24 hours. Drive-in centres will open up wherever empty grounds are available, for the vaccination of people over 60 years old.
State governments have prioritised getting people their first shot of the vaccine. Since Arun’s parents were there for their second jab, they had to turn back. That setback for Arun’s family aside, we laud the state’s attempts to quickly vaccinate masses of people as fast as possible. But with Covid-19 cases soaring and deaths grimly breaching all-time highs, shouldn’t drive-in centres and other innovative inoculation procedures be universally adopted in Indian cities, towns and villages?
In Mumbai, the Kohinoor Tower parking lot has two booths and accommodates up to 100 vehicles for post-vaccination observation at a time. Cars have been queuing up since Monday with people aged 45 and over getting the shot. Some reports say that as many as 400 people were vaccinated on the first day. If enough vaccines become available, officials say that up to 5,000 jabs can be given out each day.
A similar outdoor facility has opened up in Bhopal, too. Madhya Pradesh Tourism Corporation has set up an even safer outdoor vaccination centre in a disused drive-in theatre. It is located at Hotel Lake View Ashoka, and opens between 5 PM to 8 PM to inoculate anyone above 18 years old.
Drive-in vaccine centres are arguably more convenient for people with disabilities and those who wouldn’t risk going to a hospital for their shot. Given that most hospitals in India are overflowing with infected patients, such people would have no choice but to rely on the distant prospect of herd immunity to prevent a coronavirus infection.
But drive-in vaccination facilities are convenient for everyone who has access to a car. If more cities have them, fewer people would crowd hospitals for their vaccines. Anything that helps to reduce the pressure on hospital staff during these trying times is welcome.
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