Action for rural India: the new A Vaccine for All campaign project
Nine months into the campaign, the fundraiser to promote the purchase of vaccines against Covid-19 in poorer countries continues. After providing aid to Brazil’s Amazon region, the project is preparing to assist a number of villages in rural India.
It is not just a fundraiser. The ‘A Vaccine for All’ campaign has already turned into substantial aid and is about to launch a new project in India. In case you hadn’t heard about it yet (you can read more about it in this article), it is a fundraising programme aimed at promoting the universal right to healthcare and vaccine internationalism through practical projects as well as awareness-raising initiatives. Today, more than 40 organisations count among its promoters and have adhered to its manifesto. As of February 2022, more than €50,000 in donations have been raised. With this sum, the first project was carried out in 2021 and the new one, which is now being developed, was planned.
Melissa Mejía Flórez, in charge of campaign communication, explains: “Since the beginning, we have been working on two levels to achieve our objectives: first, the political-institutional level – aiming to make international organisations more aware of the need to fight a global evil – the Covid-19 virus – through a common good, the vaccine. The second level is the implementation of practical projects, like the one we carried out in the Brazilian Amazon”.
The Amazon and India
‘A Vaccine for All’ has contributed to support the Barco Hospital Papa Francisco river hospital ship, serving more than 1,000 communities along the Amazon River. Covid kits for hygiene and virus prevention have been distributed, along with protective materials, equipment for care during and after the illness, and basic food aid.
“The second project – Melissa explains – was initiated by one of our promoters, Shanti Ashram humanitarian organisation in India, in collaboration with AMU (Azione per un Mondo Unito – Action for a United World)”.
Through the International Centre for Child and Public Health (ICPH) in Coimbatore, in rural India, the programme aims, on the one hand, to assist the local population in procedures to obtain vaccination (many people do not have access to a computer or don’t know how to log on to the registration portal); on the other, it will carry out prevention and awareness-raising activities in about 40 villages. 2,500 people – selected among those particularly at risk – will receive vaccination thanks to mobile medical clinics. 2,000 vaccine doses will be provided by the local government, precisely because one of the fundamental aspects of the project is the will to work with local health authorities, while the remaining 500 will be paid for by the project itself.
The vaccine as a common good
During the Mediterranean Mayors’ Forum, convened by Florence mayor Dario Nardella (held from 23rd to 27th February), a proposal will be submitted to participants to sign an appeal demanding the suspension of patents on vaccines that are already widespread, and the increased use of the Corbevax open source vaccine, for which no patent has been filed. This initiative aims to reach not only mayors across the Mediterranean but also the world’s great powers. This is the only way to reach the target set by the WHO: to have 70% of the world’s population vaccinated by the first half of 2022. An objective that is unfortunately still a long way away.
Young people at the forefront
Since its inception, the campaign has seen the involvement of young people, who have been at the forefront in promoting its proposal and making it a reality. The Youth for a United World, for example, have listed the project among those to be supported within the framework of the #daretocare campaign.
“There are other ways to get involved in ‘A Vaccine for All’ besides donations – explains Melissa. Often our resources are people, whose expertise can be put at the service of great projects. I believe we can achieve great results for our campaign with the help of people (including young people!) who are eager to get to work and contribute with their own ideas and skills”.
We will keep you posted on the developments of this project in India. Stay tuned!
To find out more, visit the website: https://www.avaccineforall.org