A citizens' collective has said that all eligible residents of a village in Telangana have been administered the first dose of coronavirus vaccine making the hamlet "Covid-resilient".
Project Madad, a collective of doctors and volunteers from India and the Indian diaspora working together to provide COVID-19 education and healthcare assistance to rural India, said it has developed a model to make India's villages Covid-resilient.
In coordination with the government, Project Madad has achieved a Covid-resilient village -- Rajannapet in Sircilla district of Telangana -- it said.
"On July 31, Rajannapet achieved Covid-resilience status with first dose vaccination of 1,328 eligible adults," it said.
The group has used a five-pronged model to progressively bring about a behavioural change among the villagers who, according to the organisation, will not just be vaccinated, but also be better prepared in time to tackle any possible future wave.
The model consists of five elements -- empowerment and equipping of rural healthcare workers, active countering of Covid misinformation in the vernacular language, innovative methods to encourage socially responsible behaviour and increase vaccine acceptance, use of technology to address specific dimensions, and targeted delivery of vaccines to achieve universal coverage.
While there are several villages in Tripura, Goa, Maharashtra, and Jammu and Kashmir that have successfully vaccinated all its eligible residents with both doses of vaccine, Project Madad claimed that Rajannapet was India's first "Covid-resilient" village and that their model was one of its kind.
According to the Project Madad, achieving a state of Covid resilience involves a lot more than just vaccinating the population.
"The five-pronged 'Rajannapet model towards Covid resilience in villages' is not just about overcoming vaccine hesitancy. It is about achieving a social and behavioral transformation that makes the village impervious to seasonal outbreaks, reduces these outbreaks to a few isolated cases and does not let the virus acquire pandemic proportions.
"Even if complete and immediate vaccination of every eligible adult in India were somehow possible, vaccination alone is not enough to counter the COVID-19 menace and its impact. It needs to be part of a composite strategy," the group said.