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Indian Govt Allows Door-To-Door COVID-19 Vaccination For People With Disabilities

On Thursday, the Central Government has allowed door-to-door vaccination at home for differently-abled people and those with restricted mobility. Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of NITI Ayog said that the government has made the provision under which the people with restricted mobility will be administered the COVID-19 vaccine shots at home.

The guidelines also stated that senior citizens who are unable to go to vaccine centres will also be able to avail of this service facilitated by the government.

What Is Door-To-Door Vaccination?

In a door-to-door vaccination, the vaccine doses for those who are eligible will be administered at their homes, in contrast to going to a vaccination centre at a public or private hospital.

The govt. officials said, "The government has made a provision wherein those with restricted mobility, who cannot step out of their house to get vaccinated, such as those who are differently-abled, elderly or those with some special needs, will be administered vaccine shots at home under the supervision of trained vaccinators, following the requisite standard operating procedures (SOPs). The advisory in this regard has been issued to states" [1].

Individuals who have not been able to get vaccinated due to disabilities benefit from this. The arrangements that will be made for providing the vaccination facility at home will be safe, effective and supportive, ensured by the officials.

The letter from the Union health ministry further added, "there are still some persons who might be bed-ridden or have extremely restricted mobility or disability and/or special needs that may hamper their accessibility even to near-to-home vaccination centres." The states have been advised to prepare a line list of such potential beneficiaries and their caregivers. Subsequently, vaccination of such beneficiaries may be facilitated at their place of residence using mobile vaccination teams.

The letter also urged those who are eligible but have not taken the vaccine (men, women, pregnant women etc.), especially people over the age of 50 years to make an effort to get vaccinated.

Door-To-Door Vaccination For All

In the first week of September, the Supreme Court had said that door to door COVID-19 vaccination is not feasible especially when the vaccination is proceeding reasonably well. "Given the diverse Covid situations and administrative complexities in the country, directing door to door vaccination is not feasible, especially when the vaccination is proceeding reasonably well" [2].

The decision to make door-to-door vaccination accessible for people with disabilities and movement restrictions came after the first request was rejected by the SC. Several reports of fake door-to-door COVID-19 vaccinations and scams are making rounds, with two people being arrested in Noida. 19 vials of the vaccines, including Covaxin and Covishield, were seized from the duo along with 155 syringes, of which 30 were used [3].

COVID-19 Vaccination Of People With Disability, Guidelines

  • The State and UT governments have been asked to ensure that the differently-abled people are provided proper access to the COVID-19 services- including vaccination and testing.
  • Individuals with special needs must be assisted with their vaccination through near to home vaccination centres [4].
  • Individuals with restricted mobility will be administered the COVID-19 vaccine at home under the supervision of trained vaccinators.

On A Final Note...

The Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that it has been understood that there are people who might be bed-ridden or have restricted mobility or disability or special needs which might hamper their accessibility to the vaccination centres, and the ruling of door-to-door vaccination can help negate this gap.

Story first published: Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 11:19 [IST]