In a novel initiative, RC Pune Central, RID 3131, flagged off five mobile vaccine clinics, redesigned vans, to administer Covid doses in partnership with Vaccination on Wheels (VoW) and the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations. “The mobile clinics will reach out to underserved people who do not have access to government hospitals and who are hesitant to get vaccinated due to apathy, ignorance or old age, combined with the fear of visiting vaccination centres,” said Ajay Dubey, club president (2020–21).
VoW run by Rtn Jignesh Patel is a one-stop mobile clinic that creates hospital-like sterile setups near communities in need of vaccination. The corporations provide vaccines and identify areas where the mobile booths will be set up. Each mobile clinic is equipped with cold chain facilities and AEFI kits to handle cases of ‘adverse effects following immunisation’. The mobile clinic is manned by a doctor, two nurses, IT assistant for CoWin registration and a social worker to mobilise the beneficiaries. Once the vaccination drive is completed in an area chosen by the civic body, the clinic moves to another location.
Focus on vulnerable groups
Funded by the CSR partners, five mobile clinics were already operational in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad areas since April and over 5,000 doses were administered till the second week of June. Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol flagged off the mobile vaccine project in the presence of municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar, additional commissioner Rubal Agarwal and Rotarians.
In Pune, the mobile clinic first vaccinated over 200 workers at the construction site for Pune Metro Rail. The focus will also be on vulnerable groups at old age homes, mental rehab institutions and other special centres taking care of disadvantaged people and destitute. “For instance, at Niwara old age home, at least 180 senior citizens were vaccinated at their doorstep, while another 100 HIV-positive persons and sex workers were also administered the vaccine,” said Rubal. Among the elderly was 105-year-old Kondiba who got vaccinated at one of the clinics at the corporation premises.
“This public-private partnership is working so well that the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has also entered into a similar agreement with VoW for deploying their service in Mumbai and nearby areas,” said Dubey. Other cities like Goa, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Puri have shown interest in doing similar vaccination camps in their areas and the respective clubs are in touch with RC Pune Central to replicate their Covid project.