Little did we realise when the first reports of the coronavirus began trickling in Jan 2020 that the entire world would be turned topsy-turvy.
The GoI is now faced with the monumental task of vaccinating 1.35 billon people. It is a daunting task, unlike other vaccines which have been administered to specific segments of the population like children below five years. No government exercise, except the National Census and the Lok Sabha elections, comes anywhere close to the scale of this Covid vaccination drive.
Since the Pulse Polio immunisation programme started in India in 1995, Rotary has gained immense experience in this field. It was therefore fitting that Rotary’s leadership in India offered its hand of partnership to the GoI for the Covid vaccination. I was invited to take charge as chairman, Rotary India’s Covid Task Force.
Following a series of meetings with officials from the Union health ministry and the Niti Aayog, the Task Force, under the mentorship of RIPE Shekhar Mehta, has appointed 13 zonal coordinators for all the Rotary districts in India. We have a three-fold task ahead: 1) Create awareness of the Covid vaccine; 2) Overcome pockets of public resistance caused by misinformation; and 3) Provide logistical support wherever required. I urge the readers to trust the government, have faith in modern science and get themselves vaccinated when their turn arrives. Please do not let any of your friends fall prey to negative information spread by ill-informed sources.
The writer is a past Rotary International director and chairman, Rotary India’s Covid Task Force.