The central government, in its recent order, asked states and Union Territories (UTs) to prioritise the inoculation of vagabonds and destitutes who cannot register themselves online for the same and lack resources for the vaccination.
In a letter to the chief secretaries of states and the administrators of UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the concerned Departments of Social Justice and Empowerment and Health of state governments and union territories can take the help of civil society organisations, NGOs, and public-spirited citizens/volunteers to facilitate the vaccination of destitutes and vagabonds. There is a need to focus on COVID-19 vaccination efforts on the most vulnerable groups to ensure vaccination is equitable and accessible to all, Bhushan further mentioned in his letter.
"The vaccination of destitutes and vagabonds who may not have access to self-registration and lack resources for vaccination needs to be facilitated. States and UTs may adopt a targeted approach to cover this group," Bhushan said in his letter dated July 29.
The letter comes as a reminder to Union Health Ministry's advisory dated May 6, in which it asked states and UTs to provide COVID-19 vaccination to groups of people like beggars, nomads, people residing in rehabilitation camps, etc. while sharing the SOPs regarding vaccination of persons who do not possess prescribed identity card.
A total of 46.15 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in India so far. Out of these, over 52.99 lakh doses were given on Friday.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with PTI inputs
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