As the second wave of Covid-19 abates, focused efforts are being undertaken to revive the economy and restore livelihoods across the country.
One of the game-changers in economic revival will be vaccinating the entire adult population of the country, since vaccines are expected to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and a possible third wave, which could be detrimental to an already-weakened economy.
Such a humongous task calls for close collaboration and co-operation between the Government and the private players, among other key stakeholders.
CII, which is undertaking various comprehensive and extensive relief and rehabilitation efforts across India focussed on procurement and deployment of medical equipment, strengthening medical infrastructure, and distribution of relief material, is at the forefront in promoting and facilitating vaccinations across the country.
It set up a special Task Force on Covid-19 vaccine under the chairmanship of Mr. T V Narendran, President, CII and CEO & MD, Tata Steel, and Dr Randeep Guleria, Chairman, CII Public Health Council & Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to interact with the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC). Working closely with the Government and strengthening the Government’s initiatives focussed on vaccinations, the Task Force is spearheading CII’s efforts around procurement and distribution of vaccines in addition to administering the vaccines to people through camps.
CII has effectively mobilized support, in kind and in cash, through national and international donors and supporters to implement this large-scale pan-India Covid-19 initiative.
CII launched Project Vaccine Nation to map the demand for vaccines from CII Members and industry to help vaccinate the workforce, their families and communities at various locations. It undertook a pan-India aggregation drive to understand corporate demand for vaccines and aggregated requirements from over 3000 companies, spread across 196 cities, for approximately 7 million single-dose vaccines.
To meet this demand, CII is rolling out vaccination camps across states and has organized over 430 vaccination camps with more than 3.5 million single-doses administered by the end of July. This ongoing vaccination drive is expected to cover many more people as it is rolled out in different states.
CII is now focussing on vaccinations for rural India, and Tier II and Tier III cities in a bid to strengthen the Government’s initiative to promote vaccination. Through its regional and state offices, local social development sector partners and NGOs, CII is assessing the on-ground need for vaccines at the community level and has initiated the roll out of community vaccination camps in different parts of the country.
So far, vaccination camps are being organized in various cities such as Raikot, Ludhiana in Punjab, Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Gurugram in Haryana, and multiple locations in Delhi, and will soon reach other corners of the country.
Given that vaccine hesitancy has also been observed in several communities, CII is addressing the challenge through awareness sessions and advocacy messages to amplify the need for vaccinations in order to drive out misconceptions surrounding vaccination.
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