Aiding vaccine supply - GulfToday

Aiding vaccine supply


Representational image.

The rollout of the vaccines in various countries, presents an excellent opportunity to the retail trade, to contribute to the marathon task of vaccinating millions of citizens. Organised retailers like shopping malls and centres, have ample spaces in the restaurant and play areas. There areas can be used for setting up inoculation centres by health authorities. Due to the free space, it will be possible to maintain social distancing, while waiting for the jabs.

Johnson & Johnson are working on a vaccine which will comprise of one jab only. If this gets finalised in the next few weeks, then the wholesale trade can also contribute to the vaccination drive, in countries where the traditional markets are very strong. For instance in countries like Oman, Nigeria, Kenya, etc., hundreds of retailers visit large wholesalers to buy their goods. These large wholesalers have waiting rooms, meeting areas, etc. Health authorities can use these areas to set up temporary vaccination centres. The advantage is that all visiting retailers and traders could be inoculated expeditiously. In countries like Oman, India, Egypt, Tanzania, where the bulk of the sales take place through grocers or small traditional stores, the retailers can be utilised to disseminate information about the nearest vaccination centres. The shopkeepers could display posters furnishing the information, or even through word of mouth. This channel would be very useful in the villages.

Many companies maintain warehouses in remote locations, where stocks are stored for onward dispatches to small towns and villages. Health authorities can use the warehouses of such marketing and retail companies, to stock the vaccines, for onward dispatch.

Every segment of society should contribute to the vaccination drive. The faster the world gets vaccinated, the more rapidly we can return to some normal days.

Rajendra Aneja
Mumbai, India

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