Chennai

TN govt. prioritises vulnerable segment for vaccination in 18+ age group

The Tamil Nadu government has prioritised some segments of the population for the preventive vaccination against COVID-19 in the 18-44 years age group. (photo for representation)   | Photo Credit: M. Karunakaran

The Tamil Nadu government has prioritised some segments of the population for vaccination against COVID-19 in the 18-44 age group. The decision was taken in view of the limited stock of vaccines, a government order said.

Vulnerable groups such as newspaper boys, milk vendors and distributors; street vendors, pharmacy and grocery staff; autorickshaw and taxi drivers; bus drivers and conductors; EB staff and local body employees; workers in the e-commerce sector and essential industries; construction workers; other State labourers; government staff and transport employees; school and college teachers; and mediapersons will be given priority.

Volunteers who serve food to COVID-19 patients in containment areas, members of NGOs that help out at hospitals, seafarers working in shipping industries and airport employees will also be given priority. Differently-abled persons will have to produce a certificate to get the vaccines without waiting in queue.

The order said that based on the Chief Minister’s announcement on vaccination of people aged 18-44, the Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine had sent a proposal to administer vaccines at government COVID-19 vaccination centres/government medical college hospitals/district headquarters hospitals and one PHC per block.

The government also directed the Department/Commissionerate for Welfare of Differently Abled to organise special camps for vaccination.

Clarity sought

The government has said persons with disabilities will be vaccinated at their doorstep. But the measure has not been mentioned in the government order on the inoculation of the priority group of people aged 18-44. Hence, activists have sought clarity.

S. Nambu Rajan, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Association for the Rights of All Types of Differently Abled and Caregivers, said: “The plan is that the Department of Medical and Family Welfare will coordinate with the Department for Welfare of Differently Abled. We would like the Department for Welfare of Differently Abled to issue a statement. Now the scheme is restricted to the Chennai Corporation limits, but the helpline is of the Department for Welfare of Differently Abled. We don’t know how the two Departments will coordinate. It is good that a disability certificate would mean we don’t have to wait in a queue. But what about those who are immobile? We have raised the issue with the Commissioner for the Disabled, but have not received any response.”

“There are 13 lakh persons with disabilities, and some are severely disabled with high support needs. The option of doorstep vaccination must be available to them. In some rural areas, the primary health centre is 12-13 km away. Without access to public transport, how would such a person go to the vaccination centre?” said T.M.N. Deepak, president, December 3 Movement.

The toll-free number for registration is 18004250111. The video helpline is 9700799933.

Sources in the Department for Welfare of Differently Abled said the protocol was set by the Department of Medical and Family Welfare or the Collectors. “The Department’s helpline is always open to register any request for help in vaccination. We will inform the district administration,” a source said.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 10:59:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/covid-19-surge-govt-prioritises-vulnerable-segment-for-vaccination-in-18-age-group/article34625691.ece

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