NEW DELHI: The Centre has allowed door-to-door inoculation for people with disability, special needs or any physical challenges that may be impeding accessibility to Covid vaccination centres.
The Centre has asked states and UTs to facilitate vaccination for such people at home under supervision. Special needs will include persons who are bed-ridden or with restricted mobility. “We have written to all states on September 22. This is to ensure equitable citizen-centric approach to vaccination. Any person willing to get vaccinated and who cannot travel to the vaccination centre, we have made this arrangement for them,” health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on Thursday.
“Customised citizen-friendly interventions like near-to-home Covid vaccination centres (NHCVCs) for elderly and differently-abled citizens were started in May and detailed SOPs issued in this regard to all states and UTs. So far, 16.13 crore doses have been administered (to this category of vaccine recipients),” he said.
While such CVCs (Covid vaccination centres) should continue to be functional, at the same time it must be ensured that other centres are also fully accessible to persons with disabilities as per accessibility standards mandated under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, the government said.
“It is understood that there are still some persons who might be bedridden or have extremely restricted mobility or disability and/or special needs that may hamper their accessibility even to NHCVCs. It is advised that a line list of such potential beneficiaries and care-givers may be prepared... Subsequently, vaccination of such beneficiaries may be facilitated at their place of residence using mobile vaccination teams,” Bhushan wrote to states and UTs.
The measure is expected to increase coverage, mainly among those who may be more vulnerable to infection. For instance, many elderly who are bed-ridden, or patients of diseases under homecare as well as those with disability have found it difficult to reach vaccination centres.