Maharashtra: Now comes VaccineOnWheels

Maharashtra: Now comes VaccineOnWheels

The initiative has started running in Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra, and, one of the worst Covid-19 hotspots of India

Credit: VaccineOnWheels

At a time when people are running helter-skelter for vaccines, here comes VaccineOnWheels.

The initiative has started running in Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra, and, one of the worst Covid-19 hotspots of India.

While five such set-ups are running in the areas under Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), 15 such are set to be commissioned by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

The project runs on a public-private partnership model.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has already affected many lives and unfortunately we are being hit by a second wave that is spreading fast. Currently the best remedy available is to get everybody vaccinated at the earliest. With this new initiative, we aim to accelerate the immunization rate for PMC and the state of Maharashtra by helping people to get vaccinated,” said PMC’s Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agrawal.

“Ours is a doctor-based Mobile Vaccination Clinic service. Our PPP model will enable stakeholder collaboration across industries, government, and NGOs to share a commitment in making available vaccination services even at grassroot levels,” says Jignesh Patel, Founder & CEO, VaccineOnWheels.

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“The first unit was rolled out on 17 April at PCMC and so far this unit has immunized more than 2,000 people at an average of more than 200 immunizations per day. By the end of May, we would have all the 20 VaccineOnVehicles running in Pune with each vehicle capable of providing 200-plus doses every day,” he said.

According to VaccineOnWheels spokesperson Suchita Thakare the unit comprises a van/mobile ambulance, one doctor, two nurses, healthcare assistant, social worker and a driver.  “We need to have a proper set up which include three clear marked sections – area for registrations, vaccination area and waiting/observation area…it has to be done as per protocols,” she said, adding that the VaccineOnWheels can go anywhere – a school, gram-panchayat office or primary health centres.

VaccineOnWheels also partnered with the Rotary Club of Pune Central to bring together NGOs and CSR partners to fund various resources for mobilization of the units. “Several companies and donors have expressed interest,” Patel said, adding that they are also in touch with Mumbai's Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal to start a similar initiative in the financial capital. “We would also be working in Telangana,” he said, adding that the plan is to introduce 100 such units across the country.

Its unique PPP model will undertake a complex orchestration of multiple activities – from procurement to deployment, awareness to mobilization, registration to inoculation with support of multiple stakeholders. The partnership between stakeholders is built to enable transparency, ease of access, and equity that will collectively accelerate a return to normalcy. The organization aims to immunize over 1 million Indians in a span of 8 to 12 months in partnerships with various state governments across India.