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Naveeta Singh for Mumbai Mirror

  • Vaccination centre at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport had only 60 injection vials on Tuesday July 24 

Mumbai, Jul 25: The shortage of yellow fever vaccine reached alarming proportions, with only 60 injection vials available at the vaccination centre at Sahar terminal of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Tuesday. The vaccine is a must for visitors to many countries in Africa and South America.

The centre fears that once the stock gets exhausted on Wednesday, passengers will have to get vaccinated abroad till new stocks arrive next week. The vaccine costs only Rs 150 in India, and approximately Rs 3,500 abroad. 

Crowd outside the yellow fever vaccine centre (YFVC) at Sahar terminal of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport

The yellow fever vaccine centre (YFVC) at Sahar is the sole provider of the vaccine in the city, after the second centre at Ballard Estate closed down on July 18. “We had to close the centre as no fresh stocks are coming,” says an official from the Merchant Marine Department (MMD) at Ballard Estate. 

Passengers who used to go to  MMD too now rush to the Sahar centre, capable of handling 30-40 people a day. “As we now attend to 80 people every day, our stocks get exhausted,” says an official from YFVC.  “We have only 60 vials left, which will be over by Wednesday.”

The two vaccination centres get supplies from the Central Research Institute in Himachal Pradesh, which hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand across India.

On Tuesday, angry passengers at the Sahar YFVC got into arguments with the staff. Some of them had been waiting for two days to get vaccinated. “We couldn’t get vaccinated yesterday as the centre was kept open only for an hour. We were asked to come today,” says Geeta Sawant, 30, who was waiting with her son Shri.


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