The Coca-Cola Foundation, in partnership with United Way Mumbai, aims to spread awareness; bust myths about vaccination, and facilitate community participation in vaccination in 25 districts across 10 states of India.
As the vaccination drive across the country and the world progresses, this partnership is committed to stopping the spread of coronavirus by encouraging and sensitizing over 4 million people in over 4400 communities and villages.
Additionally, the campaign aims to strengthen close to 440 vaccination centres in rural and urban India, supporting the Government’s mission of ‘vaccination for all’ with the necessary safety kits.
The initial phase of the campaign is being rolled out across Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Delhi, and Haryana. To support the ongoing vaccination drive, the partnership is mobilizing community members in the remotest areas of the country for vaccination.
This is being achieved through mass awareness programs, one-on-one health inquiries, transportation to vaccination camps for rural communities, and augmentation of safety at the camps through the provision of PPE kits to ensure safe and hygienic inoculations. Additionally, it also helps communities connect with, facilitate registration and strengthen existing government authorized vaccination centres.
While vaccines are usually taken without much thought, the level of vaccine hesitancy surrounding COVID-19 vaccines is very high. Therefore, the focus is primarily on door-to-door health inquiries and the facilitation of vaccination.
Especially mobilising and reaching out to those with disabilities and are often neglected and fall prey to the myths about vaccines making them worse. Even myths surrounding fertility have prevented women from getting vaccinated in the rural parts of India.
Unfortunately, myths and misconceptions have worsened the situation for our healthcare infrastructure. Due to the temporary side effects such as fever, nausea, and body ache, many are deterred from taking a vaccine, thereby slowing down the country’s attempts to stop the spread of the infection which could increase the chances of a third wave.
Another crucial element of this campaign is providing necessary transportation services to enable people to reach the vaccination centres for both their doses. This made sure no one was left behind!
Commenting on the initiative and the need for each one of us to step forward, Saadia Madsbjerg, President of Coca-Cola Foundation, said, “We are proud to use our resources to fund initiatives to help curb the spread of COVID-19 around the world, including this grant to support the important work of the United Way Mumbai in India. We are hopeful that with collective effort and resilience by all, we will be able to steer ourselves out of these difficult times.”
Adding further, George Aikara, Chief Executive Officer, United Way Mumbai, said “In order to support the nation in combating this unprecedented health crisis, it is imperative to create awareness, bust myths around vaccination, and strengthen infection prevention role practices, especially at vaccination camps. Lack of awareness and consultation around vaccination is one of the reasons for lower vaccination turnout, especially in rural areas. This financial support from The Coca-Cola Foundation helps us identify, plan and support interventions and encourage more people to get vaccinated and contain further spread.”
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