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Monday, June 14, 2021

Delhi: Vaccination centres come up for persons with disabilities

This follows an order issued by the office of the Divisional Commissioner Revenue, after a notice issued by the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (PwD).

Written by Sukrita Baruah | New Delhi |
Updated: May 27, 2021 3:23:08 am
A drive through Covid-19 vaccination facility (Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav, File)

Dedicated Covid vaccination centres for persons with disabilities have come up in all 11 revenue districts of Delhi, following demands for accessible vaccination on a priority basis by disability activists in the city.

This follows an order issued by the office of the Divisional Commissioner Revenue, after a notice issued by the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (PwD).

“A notice has been received from the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (SCPWD) wherein it is requested to make a separate centre at least one in each district for the vaccination of Persons with Disabilities on priority basis,” read a letter from the office of the Divisional Commissioner to all District Commissioners last week.

Most of these centres have been set up in Delhi government schools, particularly those which have been equipped with resources and have better infrastructure than others. For instance, in the South East District, the designated vaccination centre is the School of Excellence, Kalkaji. “It was selected as the site since it is one of the best schools in the area and already has the required disability friendly infrastructure such as ramps, markings for the visually challenged and so on, so that there can be barrier-free vaccination,” said South East DM Vishwendra.

Similarly, in Shahdara district, the designated site is Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, Surajmal Vihar, which will be operational from Thursday.

“There will be one vaccination site in the school, meaning that one person can be vaccinated at a time. Spreading the word and creating awareness about this site will be the responsibility of the district administration. We will be organising the logistics. People can register for the vaccine at the site itself,” said Dr Rajpal Singh, principal of the school.

However, with the short supply of vaccines in the city, many centres have specified that the facility is only for persons with disabilities aged 45 and above.

Disability rights activists said the arrangement will still exclude a large set of persons. “The arrangement is better than nothing, but there are many people who won’t even be able to go to the centre. Transport itself isn’t accessible. What about people with Parkinson’s Disease, those who are bedridden, or have severe disabilities with mobility issues? We have the example of polio vaccination, which happened from door-to-door,” said activist and counsellor Abha Khetarpal.

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