#TogetherAgainstCOVID: Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy, Facilitating Vaccination – ActionAid India
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#TogetherAgainstCOVID: Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy, Facilitating Vaccination

Published on: Tuesday, 9th August 2022

Author: Priyanka Khullar (With inputs from K. Edward)

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with community-based volunteers, social organisations, supporters, hospitals and the local administrations, ActionAid Association has been on the ground and responding. Since the first wave of the pandemic, we have been running sensitisation drives across the country on the need to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour. When vaccination started, we ran public awareness campaigns to promote vaccination. As part of our efforts to strengthen public health infrastructure during the second wave, we handed over more than 6,400 oxygen concentrators to health centres and public hospitals. We also supported them with other urgent medical supplies. We also played an instrumental role in setting up COVID Care Centres in the most backward districts and facilitating their preparedness to deal with emergent situations. We have also been reaching out with dry rations, cooked meals and sanitation kits to families worst hit by livelihood and income losses, enabling their access to government entitlements and helping them rebuild their livelihoods.

In March 2022, with support from Cisco India, we initiated a year-long programme to enable access to COVID-19 vaccination amongst the most marginalised communities in Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri, Tiruvannamalai and Villupuram districts. Covering a total of 135 villages across nine blocks of these districts, we are helping address vaccine hesitancy among community members and facilitating their vaccination through 45 Primary Health Centres (PHCs).

The initiative started with identifying non-vaccinated and partially vaccinated persons from among the most vulnerable groups, including Dalit and tribal communities, minorities, persons with disabilities and the elderly. As of June 30, 2022, 36,329 households across the three intervention districts have been reached out directly by our trained community-based volunteers through door-to-door campaigns meant to educate people about the need for vaccination and urge them to get their jab. We also disseminated Information through awareness drives using vehicles, social media and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material. We are pleased to share that through 52 village-level vaccination camps and three mega vaccination drives organised together with local PHCs, as of June 30, 2022, we have been able to ensure the vaccination of 63,282 persons against COVID-19. Of these, 8,914 individuals received their first dose, 53,616 individuals received their second dose and 752 individuals received the booster dose.

We aim to get more than 2,60,000 individuals vaccinated by the end of the programme in close coordination with the respective Deputy Directors of Health Services, Block Medical Officers, medical personnel at PHCs and the Panchayati Raj Institutions.