Shashank ND, Health News, ET HealthWorld


By Shashank ND, Co-Founder & CEO, Practo

Leveraging private healthcare to accelerate world’s biggest vaccination roll-out: Shashank ND “The world is watching as to how India runs the globe’s biggest vaccination programme,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said while addressing the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention early this year. Rightly so, the nation’s image of being the ‘reliable pharmacy of the world’ has only strengthened in recent times. With 60% of the world’s vaccines to its credit, India is easily a vaccine powerhouse. Covid-19 jabs manufactured in India are not only being used to vaccinate the citizens of the country, but are also being supplied to 20 other nations – making India both atmanirbhar and sanrakshak in tough times like this.

Prioritization done right

The very fact that India is capable of carrying out 100 million vaccinations in a day is commendable. Of course, the country has a robust healthcare system that can meet this target. But it’s time that we involve private players and employ technology to get more people vaccinated, accelerate the drive and handle the entire process in a more efficient manner.

The success of India’s Covid-19 Vaccination drive clearly reflects in the number of people registering on the Co-WIN platform or walking in to registered centres to get vaccinated in the second phase. But as the drive opens to the larger population, it’ll be pertinent for the government to prioritize and ensure that people who do not have the means and need state help to get inoculated are provided with subsidized rates, while private players can lend a helping hand in the vaccination drive for the rest of the population.

This segmentation of duties might help ease expansion, facilitate better supervision and help run the vaccination programme in an efficient manner. It will lead to more transparency and accountability in the sourcing of vaccines from the respective manufacturers, as well as scheduling and delivering them on time. More Covid Vaccination Centers (CVCs) also mean that beneficiaries can select the CVC of their choice while booking appointments.

Deploying technology to manage vaccine roll-out and delivery

India’s vaccination drive has been both admirable and inspiring. And by leveraging a centralized system like CoWIN, private companies can cover the length and breadth of the country – from far east to down south – and ensure that the vaccine is accessible to everybody.

Tracking patients can become quite the task, leaving scope for lags and glitches. Data fudging and duplication are among the other issues that may crop up if the monitoring is not done well. The use of the CoWIN platform with app integrations can foster better coordination with local centers, ensuring that the vaccine delivery process is smooth and has fewer errors.

Factors like temperature control, storage capacity, and stock management not only determine the quality of the vaccination programme, but also help in building public trust in the system. Adequate and timely supply of vaccines will ensure that larger groups of people get inoculated within the stipulated time frame. Digital healthcare companies can help bring more predictability and efficiency in the system.

Public-private collaboration to deliver on a nationwide vaccination target

In a country where almost a fifth of the world’s population resides, embarking on a drive to vaccinate over a billion citizens against Coronavirus is by itself a massive task. But what’s promising is that we have done a good job so far.

As we strive to raise awareness, tackle hesitancy and combat the spreading of misinformation amid the world’s largest vaccination programme, a strong and meaningful collaboration between the government and private companies is the only way to bring efficiency in every turn of the process and meet the nationwide target on time.

Building people’s confidence on the efficacy of the vaccine is crucial at this point. By merging India’s healthcare system with advanced technology, the government and private companies can prioritize vaccination for different segments of the population, ensure no one is left out, and even keep a tab on how different vaccines are performing without compromising on speed and efficiency.

In a country which is socially, culturally and economically diverse, collaborating with the right players to drive the right message home is a practical and effective way for the government to deliver on its nationwide vaccination target.

(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it. shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.)

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