Last week, close to 450 daily wage workers were vaccinated in a camp on a Bengaluru construction site. They neither had to miss out on a day’s earning, nor deprive themselves of the essential COVID-19 vaccine. The workers registered themselves in a make-shift medical camp and spent about 35 minutes each under moniteration, before heading home.
This camp was set up by city-based startup MyVacc, in association with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
The organisation, started by Dr Sveta Agarwal, Dr Amit Agarwal, and Prasun Bansal in December 2020, is administering vaccines for communities with no avenues to book slots online. These include slum dwellers, wage earners, cab drivers, domestic help, the homeless, residents of old age homes, and more. Presently, the drives are being implemented in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune.
Dr Sveta, a pediatrician, says the fear of coronavirus affected non-COVID-19 vaccination drives for diseases such as polio, Hepatitis A and B, and flu vaccines. MyVacc was originally started to administer those non-COVID vaccines to people in the comfort of their homes.
“We started providing online consultations to people and fixing vaccination dates. We trained a staff of 100 people including nurses, technicians and doctors to carry out the immunisation drive at home for adults and children while undertaking utmost precautions. In the second wave, as cases rose, we wanted to reiterate the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially among sections that don’t have money or access to the internet. We also help those who do not have identification cards, such as the homeless,” Dr Sveta tells The Better India.
The trained staff of MyVacc’s visits several spots in the city and identifies areas to set up vaccination camps. The city municipal corporation contributes by reaching out to people and letting them know about the time and date.
“Since we are targeting economically weaker sections, we have on-the-spot registrations. They can just walk in and get the vaccine. We’ve seen visits from domestic helps, fruit vendors, rickshaw drivers, and other people who don’t have the option of working from home. A major part of their job demands them to come in contact with people. If infected, they can be carriers. Once they get the vaccine, our team monitors them for any side effects. We started this in March and by the end of the month, we had conducted 40 camps successfully. This gave us the confidence to scale our operations. We also have a mobile vaccination team that visits old age homes,” says Dr Sveta.
So far, the organisation claims to have vaccinated more than 6,000 people across three cities with an average of 300 people in a day. However, due to a drop in the availability of vaccines, the daily average was less in the last couple of days.
Once the supply will increase, the organisation aims to vaccinate 3,000 people every day, and expand its operations in Hyderabad and Chennai.
Dr Sveta emphasises that the drives are only for people in the unorganised sector and that employers should help their employees with getting the vaccine if they can. Even households employing domestic help must book online slots instead of availing MyVacc’s services if possible.
You can get in touch with MyVacc here.