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  • Writer's pictureSatish Kamat

Time for Safe-Island Strategy for Covid-19 Vaccination?

Vaccination programs around the world, consist of registering for vaccination and then going physically to hospital to take the shot.This approach can be illustrated as below. The leftmost image shows a typical section of a big city or a small town, with grey blocks representing homes and buildings. The center red cross is the main hospital in this community.

The above middle image shows transport of essential and frontline workers from their home to hospital for vaccination. It is relatively small part of the daily on-road traffic. This mode of operation made sense, given the initial relatively smaller number of people.

The rightmost image shows how this traffic will increase tenfold or more, when vaccination is open to masses with the current central vaccination strategy. Furthermore, in densely populated cities, transport of elderly and the wait at the crowded hospitals, further increases the risk of covid-spread.

With the essential workers and high-risk groups mostly vaccinated, in the current phase, the mass vaccination will need a more safer and faster transport strategy.

Safe-Island or @Society Vaccination:

As we move to mass vaccination, in this note I propose a safe-island approach that will create herd immunity at a much faster rate, while drastically reducing the spread velocity.

Given that a city or town consists of large number of societies and the shear large size of them (500-5000 people), we should start vaccination of societies @ each of these societies. Every day, a few nurses, trained in vaccination protocol, go to different societies, colonies or condominiums. They provide vaccinations in a community room of those societies. Depending upon on the size of the society, its complete vaccination may take a few days. The nurses then move to next society and then next. Following illustration at left explains this concept.

Following norms will be in place.

1. Social distancing and masks will be must.

2. To reduce crowding, specific buildings, towers or areas in societies will be given time slots with an open walk-in slot at end of the day.

3. The vaccination here will not depend on age or profession. Everyone who daily interacts in the society will also get the vaccination. Daily workers such as maids, guards, chauffeurs, gardeners and delivery persons will thus get the vaccination.

4. Education on post-vaccination awareness.

In effect, both the passive and dynamic population of the society will be vaccinated. This will thereby create almost a safe island in the town, as shown in above middle illustration.

This distribution strategy will ensure a drastic reduction in risk due to:

1. 75-99% reduction in number of people on roads for taking vaccination.

2. Reduced number of people at the vaccination sites.

3. The societies become safe islands from further covid spread.

As vaccination expands, safe-island will become safe-town or safe-city, as demonstrated in rightmost image. Few central vaccination sites will be kept open to manage special situations.

Another benefit will be environmental. This strategy will save on transportation to the tune of few days of average traffic and thus reduce unnecessary pollution.

A challenge with this could be infrastructure needed to carry the vaccine at colder temperature and maintain it- something our hospitals have already experience with.

Another challenge is how to handle any possible reactions? Having an ambulance ready could be a solution while having a doctor on-site could be a bit costlier solution. However, if ones looks at reactions as percentage of total vaccination being almost negligible, it could be handled by asking people about allergies before giving shots.

Author & JBTCares thank Ms Uma Kamat for her illustrations. Uma is currently a Scholar Sophomore, majoring in Product Design at the School of Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

Satish Kamat is a Chemical Engineer by training, entrepreneur by profession and gardener by hobby. His current avatar combines platform services start-ups with social entrepreneurship.

JBTCares Foundation is focused on educational advancement of women, health awareness in economically challenged and emergency issues of society. It’s typical funding efforts are Thalassemia Ward at Indian Red Cross (Pune Branch), a medical diseases awareness platform and Medical Exam Coaching Scholarships to deserving young girls from economically challenged families.

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