A gated community in Bengaluru organised a unique COVID-19 vaccination camp for its residents over 45 years of age – residents could avail vaccination via a drive-through. Palm Meadows, a villa community with 570 villas in RGHalli, Whitefield, organised this camp on May 8, with around 100 beneficiaries.
This was facilitated by BGS Gleneagles Hospital, volunteers from the community, and Ram Ramakrishnan, who heads the COVID Task Force set up at Palm Meadows on October 1, 2020. Explaining the process, Ram said that the task force and volunteers collected data upfront – CoWIN registration, ID proof, and gave beneficiaries corresponding token numbers. A person just had to come in their car, flash their ID and token number, which was validated by the staff on the CoWIN platform. Then, they had to drive 20-30 metres ahead, where a nurse would administer the vaccine.
“This was the fourth vaccination camp we have organised for the community members here. As it was drive-through, people did not have to congregate in one spot or sit in one place,” Ram said. Only Covaxin was available at the May 8, for Rs 1,500 per shot. “Even the contact with the hospital staff and vaccine administrators was minimal because we collected all the details in advance,” Ram added.
This probably is a first of its kind being conducted by a Residents Association in Bangalore and possibly in India— Whitefield Rising (@WFRising) May 10, 2021
The vaccination camp was held at Palm Meadows in RGHalli on Sat, May 8 and was organised by the MC/COVID Task Force team. The service was provided by BGS Gleneagles pic.twitter.com/rgnydXabM6
3. Process flow on the day was ensured using digital communication for monitoring vehicle movement, vaccination and payments, which resulted in a smooth safe and pleasant vaccine experience.— Whitefield Rising (@WFRising) May 10, 2021
4. Validation of beneficiary information prior to the drive prevented hiccups and delays pic.twitter.com/uHpLhKDt2K
We hope that more communities can follow the process above to reduce touch points and infection spread.— Whitefield Rising (@WFRising) May 10, 2021
Palm Meadows Covid Task Force is happy to share their knowledge and experience regarding this. For more info, DM.
To those looking to organise similar camps, Ram said that there are two aspects. The first – vaccine procurement – is mercurial at this point of time and changes day to day. “But the second part, which is execution, we can help with. We have a document which details how to prepare for a drive-through vaccination, and do it in a speedy and efficient manner with reduced risk,” Ram said, adding that those interested can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crediting the COVID task force and its volunteers, Ram said that they are planning to hold more vaccination drives in the future, for those who are above 18. While the Indian government has opened up vaccination for the 18-44 age group, several states have very limited slots for them compared to the 45+ age group due to reported shortage of vaccines.
“The task force takes care of all things COVID-19 related in the community, such as arranging for medical help, guiding with isolation and quarantine, health emergencies and so on,” he added.
For those interested in organising vaccination camps, Ram has a piece of advice – “You could use your contacts to rope in a private hospital, if you can. But make the effort to get acquainted with your local PHC. For instance, the BBMP does a COVID-19 testing camp here every month. PHC and government facilities are quite hard at work and they generally welcome help from Resident Welfare Associations, even with regard to testing and vaccination.”