USAID Partners with Local Governments and the Private Sector to Launch 90+ Mobile Units to Drive COVID-19 Vaccination uptake Amongst Rural Communities
India is undertaking one of the world’s largest vaccination campaigns and has made tremendous progress, with nearly 150 crore doses administered to date, and several million more each day. In order to help India expand the reach of vaccinations, USAID/India, Catalyst Management Services – COVIDAction Collaborative, and MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity – John Snow India have launched a mobile vaccination program to increase vaccination access and coverage for hard-to-reach populations.
CAC Team working with Doctors & Nurses to vaccinate individuals via the Mobile Vaccine initiative
Together, the partners have launched more than 90 mobile vaccination units, accompanied by doctors and nurses, in 27 underserved districts in Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. The mobile units will move from village to village, with a target to deliver more than 7 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses over the next three months.
Importantly, this initiative harnesses the innovation of the private sector to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic, leveraging more than INR 10 crore for the mobile vaccination units in collaboration with GiveIndia, 3M India, and Franklin Templeton, along with a private doctor-based mobile vaccination provider, Vaccine on Wheels. These engagements with the private sector were accelerated by the Boston Consulting Group in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in India.
The initiative furthers the government’s “Har Ghar Dastak” program, which aims to reduce inequality of access by bringing vaccines closer to underserved communities. As vaccination eligibility and guidance evolves, the units will also visit areas close to schools and colleges, along with delivering precautionary doses for patients above the age of 60 with comorbidities.
Veena Reddy, USAID/India Mission Director, said, “It is critical to vaccinate as many people as possible in order to save lives, jumpstart the economy, and prevent the threat of new variants. USAID is proud to support this collaborative and innovative initiative, which is bringing together the government, private sector, and civil society to increase vaccine coverage and mitigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Speaking about the partnership, Shiv Kumar, Co-founder of Catalyst Management Services and Chief Integrator of the COVIDActionCollab says,”We believe that these mobile vaccinations are a great way to reach the last-mile communities who cannot travel or are present in geographies which are particularly challenging. Given the need for rapid coverage of two doses of vaccine, it is important to use a range of measures to improve access and reduce vaccine inequity. The mobile vaccine delivery program is implemented with the assistance of certified medical practitioners onboard, in partnership with the Government who will ensure that those who have access issues are addressed, in an efficient & safe manner. As we push forward urgently towards universal vaccination for all, we must ensure in particular that the most vulnerable are not left behind.”
“JSI is complementing the efforts of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to facilitate COVID-19 vaccination particularly for marginalized and vulnerable populationsthrough this partnership. Vaccination through the mobile van is one of the modes proposed to achieve 100% vaccination coverage in the country,” said Sanjay Kapur, Managing Director, John Snow India Pvt. Ltd. (JSI).
USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity; demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. It leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance and help people progress beyond assistance. USAID has been partnering with the Government of India for nearly 70 years on a range of health and development programs.
Learn more on www.usaid.gov/india.
About COVIDAction Collab
The COVIDActionCollab (CAC) is an all-India collaborative, united to provide relief, recovery, and build resilience among the most vulnerable communities. The collaborative consists of Organizations and Networks working together to support these communities during the period of crisis and enable them to secure their future. The 344 partners strong collaborative has delivered 30 lakh services with 2000 volunteers. The Collaborative envisions a world where vulnerable communities are empowered to survive and thrive during a humanitarian crisis. CAC aims to achieve synergy among its partners at multiple levels in order to accelerate impact, in keeping with the needs of these communities. Catalyst Group, the incubator is facilitating the formation and operation of the collaborative driving its success along with eminent partners such as USAID and the Skoll Foundation.
Learn more on covidactioncollab.org.
About MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity
MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity is one of six MOMENTUM awards supported by USAID. The project strengthens routine immunization programs to reach all who are eligible for high-quality vaccination services. In India, the project is providing technical assistance to the MoHFW to improve the availability of vaccine doses and increase trust in and demand for COVID-19 vaccination. The project works in 18 states and Union Territories. MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity is implemented by JSI Researching & Training Institute, Inc. along with PATH, Accenture Development Partnerships, Results for Development, Gobee Group, CORE Group, and The Manoff Group.
Learn more on usaidmomentum.org.