Volvo Group in partnership with Narayana Health and under the aegis of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has launched a free vaccination drive through a specially re-purposed Volvo Bus.
This bus will operate as a Mobile Vaccination Clinic and provide enhanced and easy vaccine accessibility to people across several districts in rural and semi-urban Karnataka, a release said.
The mobile clinic called “Vaccination on Wheels” was flagged off on Wednesday by the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Basavaraj Bommai along with key state dignitaries in the presence of Dr. Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health, Kamal Bali, President & MD, Volvo Group in India, and Ramesh Ramadurai, Chairman, CII, Karnataka.
The Volvo Vaccination Bus will operate for four to six months with a capacity to administer 700-800 doses per day. The bus is fully equipped for the purpose, including 4 vaccination stations, storage & refrigeration of the vaccines, emergency beds, pantry and a chemical toilet.
The bus will be accompanied by experienced Doctors & Paramedics from Narayana Health who will administer and oversee the inoculation process, together with on-site registration and waiting areas for public.
The bus will commence its mission starting with Bengaluru Rural district of Karnataka. This free vaccination campaign is an industry driven initiative, under the aegis of CII, led by Volvo Group and Narayana Health, and with the support from the Karnataka government.
In the current phase, Volvo Group in partnership with Narayana Health will take care of all costs associated with running and operation of the vehicle, vaccines and in providing paramedics, doctors and registration staff who will in-turn coordinate with concerned NGOs and Government staff in the districts for planning and administering the free vaccination drive.
Many other CII member companies are also expected to join this initiative as it progresses further. In the second stage, the project is partnering with the Government of Karnataka to get free vaccines with an overall ambition of vaccinating more than one lakh people in the next 5-6 months.
“Care for people has been the No. 1 priority for Volvo Group in these challenging times – both for our employees & families as well as for communities,” said Volvo Group India President and MD Kamal Bali.
“We have made an extensive outreach to support communities throughout this pandemic – from providing oxygen concentrators, ventilators, essential hygiene kits to frontline workers, to setting up ICU beds and running a Covid Care Centre,” Bali said.
“With this important initiative of ‘Vaccination on Wheels’ on a Volvo Bus, I believe we would be a step closer to protecting our fellow citizens and communities who are less mobile, especially the elderly and the differently abled, from the further waves of Covid-19,” he added.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Founder and Chairman, Narayana Health, said, “Vaccination coupled with strict adherence of the preventive protocols is the most effective way to protect and control the spread of COVID-19. Though this initiative we want to ease the accessibility to the vaccine for all, including those who are unable to come forward to the vaccination centres owing to distance or physical constrains.”
In the initial phase, the hospital is looking at inoculating around 20,000 and then later expand to a wider population.