USAID India, in partnership and the American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM) organized the ‘Winning Against COVID-19‘ Roadshow on 26th October 2021. The objective of the Roadshow was to mobilize private sector resources and capabilities to scale up vaccination initiatives in India. USAID has been partnering with the Government of India for nearly 70 years to address a range of public health and other development challenges and shares India’s philosophy to engage the private sector as a partner in this journey. To accelerate the pace of vaccinations, 20-30 major corporations in AMCHAM’s network with a strong commitment towards the cause were recruited to participate.
A key purpose of the Roadshow was to forge dialogues with corporations that will potentially result in partnerships, mobilization of resources, and improved vaccination capacity. The participating corporations agreed on the urgency of the cause, especially as it will help India build resilience to subsequent waves of COVID-19, emerge from the pandemic faster and shape the market for broader partnerships with the government to drive health system strengthening initiatives going forward. Several corporations, including Boeing India, Hewlett Packard India, Cisco amongst many others demonstrated a keen interest to support these initiatives.
Remya Mohan, Mission Director, National Health Mission, Govt. of Gujarat also expressed a call for action to mobilize the private sector. USAID implementing partners – Catalyst Management Services – COVID Action Collaborative and John Snow Inc India shared their innovative demand creation and delivery models to reach the last mile and have set an ambitious target to administer over two crore (20M) doses in the coming year.
Sangita Patel, Director, Health Office USAID India, mentioned that “USAID has been very closely working with national and state governments, corporations, business associations and civil society organizations to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination efforts by supporting innovative demand and delivery options for some of the most vulnerable and hard to reach populations”. She went on to say that “USAID congratulates India on its recent milestone of 100 crore vaccinations. The Winning Against COVID-19 Roadshow serves as a platform for innovative approaches to be shared and supported by the private sector.”
Salil Gupte, Chairman, AMCHAM India, “Only last week, India crossed a billion COVID-19 vaccinations within the span of a year. Such a feat would not have been possible without a concerted effort by the Government and public, private, and non-profit organizations, and even community and individual contributions. We’re happy that the “Winning Against COVID-19” roadshow is one such initiative through which AMCHAM’s member companies are coming together with USAID and COVIDActionCollab – to help take India’s ambitious vaccination drive deeper and wider into remote areas and to more vulnerable communities. “
“India has already achieved a remarkable milestone of administering 1 billion vaccines. Vaccine adoption in rural areas and among vulnerable communities is still low due to multiple reasons. Through our VaxNow programme, we aim to ensure the vaccine equity by putting vulnerable people in front of the line. Our mission is to help vaccinate 10 million people from vulnerable communities. We believe until everyone is vaccinated; no one is safe. We are happy to be part of the ‘Winning Against COVID-19 Roadshow’, and hope more businesses will come forward and join this fight against the pandemic, ” says Shiv Kumar, Chief Integrator, COVIDActionCollab.
Dr. Sanjay Kapur, Managing Director, JSI India highlighted, “JSI is complementing the efforts of Ministry of Health of Family Welfare to facilitate COVID-19 vaccination particularly for marginalized and vulnerable population through this partnership. Acting as a catalyst, JSI is expanding and strengthening the work with the private sector to accelerate vaccination coverage across 18 selected states in India. Vaccination through mobile van is one of the modes proposed to expand reach to save families and communities. The program will look at different partnership models for outreach and urge private sector to join hands together to achieve 100% vaccination coverage in the country.“
Three key priority opportunities were discussed during the Roadshow:
VaxNow vaccine camps focused on vulnerable population groups: This initiative will leverage Corporate Social Responsibility funds to support on-ground civil society organizations, to improve access to vaccines to rural and most vulnerable populations.
Vaccinations via mobile vans: Mobile vaccinations will leverage mobile units and medical staff from private players, and vaccines from government sources to increase vaccine access for last mile populations.
Demand generation across the nation via a multimodal media campaign including social media and grassroots to address hesitancies by leveraging private sector capabilities across media and customer behaviour insights.
Several states have expressed interest in these initiatives, and this can augment the existing efforts of the government is ramping up the vaccination rates in geographic areas that need support.
This was the first in a series of Roadshows to engage the private sector to mitigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar Roadshows will be organized in the coming months, focused on additional pandemic resilience efforts.
The American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM India) is an association of American business organizations operating in India. AMCHAM India is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC and the AmChams of Asia Pacific. Established in 1992, AMCHAM has over 400 U.S. companies as members.
The COVIDActionCollab (CAC) is an all-India collaborative, united to provide relief, recovery and build resilience among the most vulnerable communities. The collaborative consists of Organizations and Networks working together to support these communities during the period of crisis and enable them to secure their future. The 344 partners strong collaborative has delivered 30 lakh services with 2000 volunteers. The Collaborative envisions a world where vulnerable communities are empowered to survive and thrive during a humanitarian crisis. CAC aims to achieve synergy among its partners at multiple levels to accelerate impact, in keeping with the needs of these communities. Catalyst Group, the incubator is facilitating the formation and operation of the collaborative driving its success along with eminent partners such as USAID and the Skoll Foundation.
About JSI India
Over the last three decades, JSI has partnered with India’s government, private sector, international development partners, and community leaders to strengthen the health system and improve the overall health of India’s population. JSI leverages their global expertise for implementing complex public health programs at scale to provide ongoing support for India’s efforts across Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCH), Nutrition, TB, Routine Immunization etc. They have been given the mandate by MoHFW for increasing COVID-19 Vaccination uptake across 18 states in India.