NEW DELHI, June 1, 2021: American Indian Foundation (AIF), in a concerted effort with the local and state government launches ‘The First Million’ a campaign to ensure vaccination for a million most vulnerable and marginalized Indians. In collaboration with civil society organisations, NGOs and other stakeholders, AIF has recognised persons with disability, migrant labourers along with street vendors, sex workers, tribal population and women working in the unorganised sector, as the five most vulnerable groups in need of immediate intervention.
“With India’s federal government expanding vaccination eligibility to all age groups above the age of 18 years, the demand for vaccines will soon outstrip supply, given India’s population load, leaving the most vulnerable groups at the margins. A strategy to secure priority access of vaccines for the vulnerable groups is imperative, to arrest the spread of the virus’” said Mathew Joseph, Country Director, AIF.
Identifying lack of awareness, access and affordability as immediate impediments to vaccinating the vulnerable, AIF is forging strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, devising national awareness drives and behaviour change campaigns under The First Million program. Its immediate focus includes facilitating registrations, securing priority vaccination slots for the vulnerable population and resolving multiple access issues through personalised support.
“Vaccination is the only sustainable and long-term solution to the current crisis. From our experience of working with frontline workers, communities, government and healthcare experts, we formulated a quick and agile plan to prioritize a million most vulnerable people of the population, until vaccine drives cover a critical mass, an only line of defense against the resurgent COVID wave and strengthen the public health ecosystem for future COVID related emergencies” said Nishant Pandey, CEO, American India Foundation.
“Mitigating misinformation around vaccination is the first step towards countering vaccine diffidence. Creating training modules for frontline workers to counter myths around vaccination is almost as important and providing access to vaccine itself. Our awareness and behaviour change campaign will help ensure readiness in the populous we want to inoculate on priority”, recapitulated Nishant.
ABOUT AIF RELIEF INTERVENTIONS
In the throes of this extraordinary medical disaster, with health infrastructure brought to the brink, AIF has been working tirelessly to bring a critical covid 19 interventions. Leveraging its 20 years of experience working in humanitarian crisis, with various state governments and civil society organisations, AIF has so far, ordered 5,000 oxygen concentrators, 2,600 hospital beds across 35 cities, Oxygen plants across 45 cities of India and 30,000 non-electric ventilators to abate the health infrastructure shortages.
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