Scaling the Vaccine Summit
With over a lakh COVID-19 new cases a day and an accelerated daily spread rate, we are staring at a peak that will far exceed the first wave peak. As change-makers and thought leaders, the onus is on us, to create impactful conversations. We must make sense of and mitigate the 2nd or 3rd wave and its likely impact, without falling into the ‘fear’ and ‘gloom’ trap again.
The need of the hour to avoid this is to act right now, so we can arrest the upheaval. It’s time we quickly introspect and analyze the various stakeholder contributions to help win this battle.
Learning from the past
The events of last year created a batch of ‘seasoned 2020 COVID officers’ who have valuable learnings to share. We must use this acquired skill set in a way that optimizes the areas that were lacking last year.
The government has spent a lot on COVID care centers, ICUs, beds, and ambulances- we must ensure their readiness to avoid last-minute panicking.
Most generations have not known or experienced a pandemic creating a void of information. However, the learnings of last year must be documented immaculately, to ensure a ‘design and discipline’ approach, instead of mass panic.
Citizens on the vigil
Individual awareness and contribution is a central theme in controlling the spread of the pandemic. We are already cognizant of the measures that need to be taken by us to combat COVID19. It is upon us to not only adhere to these measures but to also encourage compliance from our peers.
- Proper usage of masks
- Enforcing and practicing social distancing actively
- Diligently following hand sanitizing procedures
These steps, simple as they are, were effective in mitigating the spread of the first wave. The onus is now on us to hit the restart button, re-establish stringent protocols and ensure further compliance.
The government has enabled over 30,000-40,000 hospitals and health centers to carry out vaccinations. The logistical infrastructure set up to provide vaccine vials to these centers is fully functional and extremely optimal. An operation of this scale, in a country as vast as India, is a commendable and rare global phenomenon.
However, it is equally important that we, as citizens carry out our role diligently. We must encourage mass adoption of the vaccination in our peer groups and larger social setups.
Currently, a lot of vaccine-equipped centers are under-utilized. It is our duty, through dialogue, awareness initiatives, and social media to push for quick adoption.
For a nation this large, a target of 1 crore vaccinations a day is an ideal goal. All citizens must engage in pushing us towards this target through influencer tactics, amongst others.
Lowering the vaccination age
In a progressive move, the government has dropped the age for vaccination to 45 years. However, being a young country- the majority of mobility and working populations are in the 20-45 year age cohort. Considering the fact that they form the bulk of India’s population, it is imperative to get these groups in the vaccination program with haste.
As citizens, we need to push our central/state governments to reach these groups within a 30-day deadline. This is a very critical move if we are to bring the pandemic to heel.
Impactful dialogue at scale
The Prime Minister took it upon himself to get the nation into a collective resilience mood last year. His regular nationwide addresses during the lockdown kept the spirits up and preventative actions in full swing. In continuance with the series, it may be the need of the hour for the nation to be addressed again. The vaccine drive will get a significant push with his influence amongst the masses.
At a citizen level, we must ensure that these conversations are advocated for by us, till they go viral, and we observe an impact at a societal level. We have empirical evidence on social media’s impact on human behavior and society. The citizens must use every tool at their disposal to meet our collective end goal.
Serve in India
After the initial vaccine diplomacy, it may be time for 100% doses to be reserved for domestic use. We have already lived the “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” philosophy, but now may be time to look inwards- for a good reason, so that we are structured enough to cover the young workers who are active engines of the Indian economy on a daily basis.
There has been a multitude of suggestions over the last 12 months from virologists, epidemiologists, public health scholars, and statisticians alike. However, as thought leaders in India, we have observed that trenches, positivity, simplicity, discipline, and consistency can be better solution clusters than randomness.
At the time we are going to post, there is ongoing active discussion on scaling the vaccine production, time, and resources needed for the same while focusing on India’s large vaccination need. To tide over the 2nd wave, to address the perception of vaccine shortage, and be ready for ‘on demand’ vaccination for wider demographics within 150 days, a proactive positive narrative is needed so we can scale the summit in 150 days.
The action items are laid out in front of us. All it needs is a pledge from each of us citizens to do our simple tasks and push our government that little extra bit. Together- but a part, we will win. Let’s make it a 150-day goal.
Carpe Diem !!
P. S. In the interest of the economy, the health of the population, the mental wellbeing of the people, and a country that is ready to receive the world – both for business and tourism- we need to do all it takes to control the spread of the pandemic at this scale.
Chairman, Atria Group