Patient Safety & Access Initiative of India Foundation (PSAIIF) & Consumer Online Foundation are both not-for-profit organisations under the mentorship of Prof Bejon Misra, an International Consumer Policy Expert. His Team has congratulated The Prime Minister’s Office & the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) for launching the world’s largest vaccination drive to immunize India’s young population against Covid-19 from 1st May 2021 onwards. Professor’s Team, in a letter to the PMO & the MoHFW, has suggested ways to make the Covid vaccination exercise for everyone (above the age of 18) successful.
Stressing on the need to ensure equitable, uniform and maximum access to COVID-19 vaccines to people living in hard-to-reach areas and achieve comprehensive immunization; Professor’s Team suggested a door-to-door immunization strategy. This is in addition to giving people an option to seek an online appointment with specific allotted time slots to get vaccinated and avoid crowding.
Noting that India has the largest and fastest-growing dependent population with no significant income, Professor’s Team has recommended subsidized vaccination for all college students and other dependents having no income of their own. This will make vaccines affordable and accessible to them thereby ensuring efficient and seamless execution of the vaccination drive.
Going a step further, Professor’s Team advised providing vaccine access to people especially students, the migrant population, etc. irrespective of the region or location. This is important as large population of India including migrant workers, tourists, and students are stranded in various States due to the surging Covid wave.
Congratulating the PMO & the MoHFW on the launch of phase three of the mega vaccination drive, Prof. Bejon Misra, Founder Director of PSAIIF, Founder Trustee of Consumer Online Foundation and a renowned Consumer Activist said, “Coronavirus infections have been rising in the country at an alarming rate. In this scenario, the expansion of the immunization drive for all adults above the age of 18 years is a welcome move as vaccines have a critical role to play in breaking the chain of Covid transmission, especially in the long run”.
“The government must, now, focus on addressing concerns related to vaccine supplies, pricing, efficacy, awareness and crowd management to make this program a grand success”, Prof. Misra added.
There is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion on the efficacy of the vaccines, especially amongst the young adults in India. This needs to be addressed promptly to wipe out the reluctance and ensure maximum coverage of the immunization program. Towards this, Prof. Misra’s Team suggested the creation and provision of a vaccination kit enclosed with a manual of dos and don’ts before and after administration of the vaccine, a general prescription in case of potential side effects and operational helpline numbers in case of emergency, to eradicate panic and misinformation.