A group of Bengaluru activists collaborated with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike on June 7 to host a vaccination drive for disadvantaged groups within the age group 18-44. The citizensâ€™ collective had collated data pertaining to persons with disabilities, street vendors, caregivers of elderly or chronically ill, persons without an official ID card and staff of Child Protection Department, Women and Child Development Department in Vasant Nagar (Ward 93).
The team of volunteers of the group had visited door-to-door to collate data on the beneficiaries. The vaccination was carried out in the Primary Health Centre (PHC) in the ward and was inaugurated by BBMPâ€™s smart city officer Dr Vaishnavi, who is also a nodal officer for vaccination of these categories. Citizens for Citizens (C4C), Public Health Action Team (PACT) took the lead of this initiative under their campaign #VaxUp.
Speaking to TNM, Rajkumar Dugar, Founder and Convener of C4C, said, â€śWe received permission from the BBMP to vaccinate people from the following five categories. In the ward, we found 20 beneficiaries, in the age group 18-44, who were vaccinated at the drive today. The team ensured to inform them about side-effects like getting fever and the health centre handed them paracetamol for the same. The beneficiaries were also provided with N95 masks and cooked meal parcels post the inoculation to reduce their load of chores.â€ť
Dugar also urged other citizen groups in Bengaluru to come forth and conduct similar drives throughout 198 wards of the city.
He also expressed that the group would like to extend the drive further. â€śThe team has received several requests from those in other categories like domestic workers, rickshaw drivers if they can receive the vaccine. We would like to extend the drive to other categories from the priority list. We are preparing to reach out to other nodal officers to seek permission to hold the vaccination drive,â€ť he said.
The BBMP has since January 16 administered at least one dose to nearly 35 lakh to the residents of the city and completely vaccinated 6 lakh residents. The civic body began its drive to vaccinate people identified as priority groups and is tying up with NGOs and PACT to vaccinate those residing in slums. The civic body has identified over 10 categories in the priority group like street vendors, persons with disabilities and their caregivers, and appointed nodal officers to ensure they are vaccinated. Meanwhile, the test positivity rate in Bengaluru has remained steady at 5% over the past week after witnessing a cataclysmic second wave of the pandemic.