15
Jun
2021

Recently, I got my second dose of Covaxin. Didn’t have any symptoms. Great! But what I would like to shed light on, are my observations about the vaccination drive in India.

India is a populous country, the second largest by population(some estimates put it ahead of China).

We have over a tenth of the world population living in our country.  Let that sink in.

Before even talking about vaccination, we need to understand that the Indian Healthcare Infrastructure is for the most part, very analogous and concentrated to the big cities. This means that when vaccination drives happen, the healthcare infrastructure of our country can under no circumstance vaccinate the entire population of our country.

This brought me to the question:

How can institutions that don’t have an infrastructure for basic patient handling, be given the duty to vaccinate the citizens?

I decided to address the causes and possible solutions.

To vaccinate such a large population of over a billion people, the effort needs to be very in-depth.

To give it a perspective,

A person who earns 50k a month in India is in the top 1% of the top 5% of the population. This shows the divide in our country. To put it in simpler terms, out of 1,000,000,000 people in this country, only 500,000 earn Rs. 50,000 or more. With bills running into tens of lakhs for critical patients, there is way more demand than the supply. Even more than supply, access matters.

For vaccination drives to be successful, the effort needs to be grassroot.

When hospitals try to vaccinate people, people with no access to basic healthcare(more than half the population) are left to look out for themselves.

You must be thinking that I’m just ranting, so let us look at it from an objective standpoint.

When something needs to be done urgently, do you give it to the fastest guy, or the guy who does it best but takes its own sweet time?

Someone who acts erratically in times of crisis?

Or Someone who has a plan in mind, a plan that gets things done?

I ask this as vaccination of the entire population is an urgent task. The more it is delayed, the longer it will be around. And in a country like India, we need to target and educate the people at the grassroot level, to ensure they are educated and vaccinated against COVID.

How?

As we saw in the case of USA, Give it to the organizations.

  • A day labourer has an employer.
  • A WFH Student has a University.
  • A worker has a boss.

Allowing organizations to vaccinate their employees/students allows for a better pyramid effect towards vaccination strategies allowing for a higher penetration rate and in turn a successful vaccination drive.

Or even better, give it to the event management companies.

You must be wondering why!

Think about it.

Any successful event has a great logistical team behind it. And when you consider the event being in India, logistics become a scary thing that can make or break an event! Annual events like award shows, IPL, Trade shows, conferences, all have shown how successful the logistical end of Indian Event Management companies is!

All they would need to do is provide the logistical infrastructure, and can organise drives for independent private and public organizations.

Societies can vaccinate themselves with such partnerships. So can organisations.

How this would help is it would get most vaccinations out of the way and then the govt. and public sector can focus on the villages and other strata of the community.

Vaccinating people is about having access to them, and the best way to get access to people is to partner with entities that already have access to them rather than demand access to people or ask them to line up for something like this.

Organisations can also help vaccinate helpers and other dependents of their employees allowing them to vaccinate a percentage of their employees' dependents while also vaccinating another person from their city which in-turn allows the government. efforts to be focused on others with less access.