People with restricted mobility, special needs will be vaccinated against Covid-19 at home, as the government has cleared the provision, the health ministry said on Thursday during its regular weekly briefing. “Those who do not have enough mobility that they can be brought out of their home, or if someone has a disability or some special needs that they can’t be brought to the centre… for them we have made the provision of at-home vaccination under supervision,” Niti Aayog member (health) Dr VK Paul said as India has achieved the milestone of vaccinating 66% of its adult population by at least one dose of the vaccines.
“We have the confidence that our vaccine is safe and the system that we will bring in place to take vaccines to the residence will be safe, effective, nurturing and supportive. It will follow the SOP. This is an important development,” Dr Paul said. Order in this regard has been issued and the local teams will take part in such vaccination drive. The Centre has written a letter to all states in this regard on September 22.
“It is understood that 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 the near-to-home centres. It is advised that a line-list of such potential beneficiaries and their caregivers may be prepared in the catchment area of every planning unit and collated at the district level,” the letter said.
The health ministry said that the vaccination drive aims to be equitable and citizen-centric. Hence, the decision to reach those people who are not being able to come to the vaccination centre for some valid reasons has been taken.
On September 17, India achieved a milestone of inoculating over two crore people on a day and as a result, now there are six states/UTs in the country, including Lakshadweep, Chandigarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Sikkim, which have 100 per cent coverage of the first dose of the vaccines. Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Kerala, Ladakh and Uttarakhand are on their way to achieving 100% first dose coverage and at present, they have 90% coverage of the first dose, according to health ministry data.
How will the vaccination drive reach home?
The health ministry has urged the states that vaccine wastage has to be kept minimal even as the drive is now being extended to the residence of the beneficiaries. All SOPs related to the maintenance of cold chain, prescribed temperature, safe injections, waste disposal, adverse events following immunisation are to be followed diligently. “Planning of such a drive should be cognizant f the fact that open vial policy is not applicable on Covid-19 vaccines and hence it should be ensured that vaccine wastage is minimal,” the Centre’s letter said.