RWAs step up to organise vax drives


Residents’ Welfare Associations of large apartments have tied up with hospitals to offer vaccines to their members and service staff

A few residents’ welfare associations have found some success in vaccinating their members by conducting exclusive programmes in their layouts and apartments through partnerships with private hospitals. It’s roughly estimated that at least 300 such vaccination drives have been held in the City over the last two weeks. Many small residential units are, however, not able to conduct such drives as hospitals insist on a minimum of 100 bookings in advance.

At least half a dozen well-known hospitals in the City are offering the service of vaccinating people at a venue fixed by the organizers. While the price for each dose of Covishield ranges from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200, it costs between Rs 1,400 and Rs 1,500 for Covaxin, which is slightly higher. Organisers say that Narayana Hrudayala has been charging only around Rs 700 for Covishield, which is the cheapest as compared to other private hospitals.

This type of arrangement, first initiated by the Bangalore Apartments Federation (BAF), has helped many, particularly those who fall in the age group of 18-44, as they were struggling to book a slot for vaccine through Cowin.

“We believe roughly around 300 such camps by RWAs have been held so far,” said Vikram Rai of the federation. “The RWAs, who are making fresh requests for vaccination drives, are getting dates beyond mid-June. This shows that a majority of the private hospitals have already committed their existing stock to either companies or associations for the next two weeks.”

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It’s learnt that some residents’ welfare associations have also sponsored the cost of vaccinating their domestic workers, security personnel or maintenance staff of their apartments.

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The City roughly has over 10,000 RWAs both including those of layouts and apartments. There are also many areas where the RWAs are either inactive or never existed.

Vishnu Prasad, a resident of Kasavanahalli, said that they conducted one such camp where over 583 people from different localities in Bellandur turned up. “These camps can be held by large RWAs who have the bargaining power. Some hospitals did offer to provide the service but at an exorbitant rate.

We had to turn it down,” he said. The hospitals, he added, are unlikely to entertain camps if the bookings are less than 100.

“When we compare Bengaluru to other cities like Mumbai or Delhi, there are more independent houses and layouts without resident welfare associations. It is here that the vaccination has not taken place as there has been no coordinated effort to conduct a mass vaccination programme. The BBMP should set up teams to cover these independent houses and areas without RWAs to maximise the vaccination programme”, said Shashidhar S, a techie residing in Bagalagunte.



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Sagar Biswas

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