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Centre directs states to make special arrangement for vaccination of transgenders

In a letter directed to cabinet secretaries, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has asked governments to ensure all vaccination centres are transgender-friendly.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
May 26, 2021 9:43:10 am
At a vaccination camp in Noida (Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav)

The central government has directed all states and Union Territories to make special arrangement for the vaccination of transgender individuals. In a letter directed to cabinet secretaries, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has asked governments to ensure all vaccination centres are transgender-friendly. It has also asked states to run mobile vans or special camps for vaccination of such individuals.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the transgender community has faced many difficulties in terms of access to healthcare or livelihood. Being highly mobile, the community was forced to restrict their movement during the lockdown. When the vaccination programme was rolled out in January, the community was the last to participate due to social ostracization. Hesitancy towards the vaccine has been a cause of concern for many.

In its letter, the Centre pointed out that the community has been adversely affected during the pandemic due to a lack of awareness and stigma at vaccination centres. The Centre also instructed state governments to conduct awareness campaigns about the vaccines in vernacular languages.

Other than ensuring that present facilities are made transgender-friendly, which individuals can access without stigma, the state governments have been asked to set up special camps for the community. In this regard, the central government has asked the state governments to set up mobile camps which can be used to vaccinate such individuals.

In Pune, various organisations are now working to collate a list of individuals who wish to be vaccinated. The Pune Municipal Corporation has mobile vaccination vans which are at present used to vaccinate the highly vulnerable sections of the society.

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