Only 20,000 disabled persons vaccinated in Maharashtra: Officials
Only 20,000 disabled persons vaccinated in Maharashtra: Officials

Only 20,000 disabled persons vaccinated in Maharashtra: Officials

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Only 20,000 disabled persons have been vaccinated in the state, public health officials estimated. With the Centre directing states to carry out home vaccination for those unable to reach centres, state health officials said district health officials have been directed to plan vaccination drives after taking data from the state disability commissioner office.
The state has around 29 lakh disabled persons, according to the disability commissioner’s office, according to the 2011 census, which is estimated to be 35 lakh now.
Union government last week announced Covid-19 vaccination at home for disabled, elderly and people with special needs. Guidelines for arranging for vaccination centres nearest to disabled and elderly, known as Near-to-Home Covid vaccination centres (NHCVC), for the elderly and differently-abled citizens, but now vaccination will be provided at the doorstep of beneficiaries with special needs, the directive stated.
State public health officials told TOI that nearly 22,901 disabled persons have been vaccinated so far, but the numbers may be higher. With the CoWin app not not having a separate category, the tally has to be coordinated with the disability commissioner’s office, added officials.
“The differently-abled population in the state is around 2.5% of the total population, which would have increased to 3.5%. The number of inoculated persons is higher than what is estimated by state public health officials,” stated Omprakash Deshmukh, disability commissioner. He said that the work is on to check for the actual numbers so that the local administration can carry out the process of vaccination.
Rafiq Khan, an activist who works for the disabled sector, told TOI that with no proper numbers the coverage can only be estimated.
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