Between taking orders and handing over parcels of sushi and papaya-mango salad to delivery boys, Indian restaurant manager Padam Vibhushan has fruitlessly hunted online and in hospitals for a COVID-19 vaccine slot since he became eligible on May 1.

The 43-year-old is among many in Mumbai who are stuck at the back of the vaccination queue because they do not have a fancy address or a corporate employer to help protect them from a pandemic that has killed some 380,000 Indians.

Life is easier for the residents of sprawling apartment block complexes and staff at major banks and information technology firms who are getting the jab on their premises, amid widening vaccine inequity in India's most populous metropolis.