September 24, 2021 2:34:17 am
ALMOST EIGHT months after it rolled out the Covid-19 vaccination drive across the country, the Centre on Thursday announced the introduction of home vaccination for the those with restricted mobility, disability and special needs.
Also, in its first official statement over the UK’s new travel guidance not recognising Covid-19 vaccination certificates issued by India, the Union Health Ministry said that “both sides are in dialogue” and a “quick resolution” to the issue will be found.
Announcing the home vaccination provision, head of India’s Covid-19 task force Dr V K Paul said, “I am pleased to inform you that we have made new provisions. For those persons, whose mobility is such that they cannot be moved out of the house for vaccination, or those who have a disability, or if someone has special needs that they cannot go to a vaccination centre, we have made new provisions.”
“For them, under supervision at home and by following SoPs, we will make provisions for vaccination at home. The orders and advisory have been issued,” Dr Paul said.
He said district-level immunisation officers will continue to follow the same SoPs for vaccination at home, including the critical aspect of monitoring adverse events following immunisation.
“We have confidence that our vaccines are safe. The arrangements we will make for home vaccination would be effective, safe, supportive, and nurturing. And it will follow all the SoPs. It is an important development. We will encourage teams at local level to participate and connect with this new system,” Dr Paul said.
The decision to roll out vaccination at home in special cases comes at a time when India has completed administering first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to 66 per cent of the estimated adult population and both doses to 23 per cent of the eligible population.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan emphasised that there has been “equitable access” to Covid-19 vaccination.
“A substantial proportion of vaccines has been administered at rural vaccination centres. In rural centres, 45.75 crore doses have been administered, while 25.42 crore doses have been administered in the urban centres,” he said, adding that between May 1 and September 22, only 6 per cent of the total doses have been administered in private hospitals concentrated in urban centres.
On the issue of the UK travel guidance qualifying Covishield as an approved vaccine but not the Covid-19 vaccination certificates issued in India, Bhushan said, “On United Kingdom, let me reiterate what Ministry of External Affairs has already underlined.”
“First, we believe that the dispensation that is proposed to be implemented from October is a discriminatory practice. Two, both the sides are in dialogue. We believe that a quick resolution will be found. Third, we do reserve the right to reciprocate in a similar manner.”
On Thursday, after meeting National Health Authority CEO Dr R S Sharma, British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis posted on Twitter that neither India nor UK raised technical concerns with the vaccination certification process.
“Excellent technical discussions with @rssharma3 @AyushmanNHA. Neither side raised technical concerns with each other’s certification process. An important step forward in our joint aim to facilitate travel and fully protect public health of UK and India,” Ellis tweeted.
“Echoing his excellency @AlexWEllis’s views, this will be instrumental in resuming socio-economic activities between India and UK. We also look forward to deepening ties between @AyushmanNHA and @NHSX as we collaborate to build a digital continuum of healthcare services,” Sharma posted in reply.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.