COVID-19 | Only 4,018 people with disabilities got both doses of vaccine till November-end

Figure represents only a tiny fraction of group’s total population of 26.8 million

December 07, 2021 03:29 pm | Updated 11:00 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A medic inoculates a dose of Covishield vaccine to a differently abled person at a Delhi Govt School. File

A medic inoculates a dose of Covishield vaccine to a differently abled person at a Delhi Govt School. File

Only 4,018 people with disabilities have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine till November 28, as per figures released by the Health Ministry during the ongoing session of Parliament. It added that as per the CoWIN portal, 8,390 people with disabilities received the first dose.

As per Census 2011, the differently abled population in India stands at 26.8 million.

It further notes that there had been a marginal increase in the differently abled population, with the figure rising from 21.9 million in 2001 to 26.8 million over the period of 10 years.

“As per Census 2011, there are 14.9 million men with disabilities, as compared to 11.9 million women in the country. The total number of differently abled people is over 18 million in the rural areas and just 8.1 million enumerated in the urban settings,” notes a government document ‘Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) in India - A Statistical Profile : 2021.’

It adds that the percentage of men with disabilities is 2.41 as against 2.01 in women. Social group-wise analysis shows 2.45% of the total disabled population belong to the Scheduled Castes (SC), 2.05% to the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and 2.18% to those other than SC/ST.

Minister of State in Health Ministry Bharati Pravin Pawar, while responding in the Upper House, said that the Central Government was providing free supply of COVID-19 vaccines in enough quantity to States/UTs for administration to the adult population aged 18 and above.

Satendra Singh, a physician with disability who is also a collaborator in Sabin Institute funded project with Sangath Bhopal on inequities on COVID19 vaccine access and uptake among transgender and disability communities in India, said: “None of the official Government circulars mentioned disabled people as vulnerable communities; and our multiple demands to provide at-home vaccination to people with disabilities with high support needs were denied by the Centre, leaving disabled people behind.”

“Until and unless vaccine equity plans involve people with disabilities and researchers with disabilities, we won’t be able to flatten the curve,” he added.

According to figures released by Health Ministry on Tuesday, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 128.76 crore (1,28,76,10,590) as per provisional reports till 7 a.m.

The Centre has maintained in Parliament that data on segregation of unvaccinated persons on the basis of possession of prescribed identity card is not maintained; however, under the national COVID-19 vaccination programme, there is a provision to facilitate vaccination of persons without prescribed identity cards (including Aadhaar Card) such as migrants, seers, nomads, refugees, the destitute and beggars through special sessions where 100% vaccination is done through on-site registration under a special procedure.

It added that as of November 26, a total of 34,54,379 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered to such beneficiaries.

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