Vaccinate Vellore

 Vaccinate Vellore

An update on CMC Vellore’s COVID Vaccination campaign February 2022

As an Institution, we had embarked on the “Vaccinate Vellore Campaign”, committing to vaccinate 70,000 of the eligible population with 12,000 doses being provided free of cost. We have been able deliver more than 80,946 doses in our district of which 25,840 doses have been given free of cost.

We had used the Community health outreach programs of our Institution: Community Health And Development (CHAD) program from Community Health Department of the Medical College, rural outreach through the Rural Unit for Health and Social Administration (RUHSA), urban poor outreach through the Family Medicine department and the Low Cost Effective Care Unit (LCECU) and rural community outreach through the Community Health Department of the College of Nursing (CONCH). The graph below shows the tally of vaccine delivery through the various programs.

In keeping with our mission, we have been targeting those who are otherwise not able to access the vaccines through usual healthcare systems due to various constraints. This campaign was different in that we had to work from scratch to educate the community, overcome new barriers of misinformation (mostly through social media) besides inherent socio-cultural issues. Besides, we had to work within constraints of rapidly changing policy and regulatory actions.

In spite of all this, with your generous support we have been able to use the vaccine we acquired directly from the company in the early stages of the vaccine roll out to cover our special target groups, the communities with whom we have been working for decades now. The trust built up through various healthcare and development programs stood in good stead during this time.

The permission to roll out precaution dose (booster dose) to healthcare workers and the elderly, came early in January of 2022. We have been able to provide free booster dose to more than 2700 eligible staff, while continuing to provide vaccine to the identified target groups of the elderly and healthcare workers in the community. The now receding third wave presumptively with the Omicron variant has also complicated matters further with a number of staff eligible for the booster dose, coming down with symptoms in late December 2021 and January 2022, precluding vaccination for them.

CMC Vellore, designated as a COVID hospital, has continued to support COVID work in many forms, even between the second and third waves. We had allocated 297 beds at the peak of the third wave for COVID beds and continued to provide specialized care for those in need. The Home isolation program continued and became helpful during the third wave. A group of volunteers from the institution, in partnership with the local Indian Medical Association branch, regrouped to start the IMAI-UDHAVI Community helpline using a web-based call centre application. We continue to be involved in a number of research studies. Our faculty are part of expert groups and advisory groups to the local, state and national government in various aspects related to COVID, including statistical modelling.