The Government of India is planning to start at-home vaccination against COVID-19 for beneficiaries with special needs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on September 23.
The door-to-door vaccination facility will be extended to people with disabilities and/ or special needs that may hamper their accessibility to even near-to-home COVID-19 vaccination centres.
Speaking about the new initiative, Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog, said: “I am pleased to inform that an advisory has been issued to make arrangements for ‘vaccination at home’ for those who have disabilities or are differently challenged, in line with COVID SOPs.”
So far, India has administered more than 83 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, covering 65 percent beneficiaries, who have received at least the first dose.
To ensure that the access to the national COVID-19 vaccination programme is equitable, the Centre had introduced Near-to-Home COVID-19 vaccination centres (NHCVC) for elderly and differently-abled citizens earlier this year.
However, the government has learnt that some citizens who might be bed-ridden or have extremely restricted mobility or disability and/or special needs are not able to reach even the NHCVCs. For them, the Centre will be arranging for vaccination at their respective places of residence using mobile vaccination teams.
The Union Health Ministry has directed concerned officials to draw up a line-list of such potential beneficiaries and their caregivers “in the catchment area of every planning unit”. The data will have to be collated at the district level, the Health Ministry said in a circular issued on September 22.
The activity will be supervised by the nodal officer designated for grievance redressal of differently-abled persons.