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COVID-19 | Centre to start at-home vaccination for beneficiaries with special needs

The door-to-door vaccination facility will be extended to people with disabilities and/ or special needs that may hamper their accessibility to even near-to-home COVID-19 vaccination centres.

September 23, 2021 / 05:55 PM IST

The Government of India is planning to start at-home vaccination against COVID-19 for beneficiaries with special needs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on September 23.

The door-to-door vaccination facility will be extended to people with disabilities and/ or special needs that may hamper their accessibility to even near-to-home COVID-19 vaccination centres.

Speaking about the new initiative, Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog, said: “I am pleased to inform that an advisory has been issued to make arrangements for 'vaccination at home' for those who have disabilities or are differently challenged, in line with COVID SOPs.”

So far, India has administered more than 83 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, covering 65 percent beneficiaries, who have received at least the first dose.

To ensure that the access to the national COVID-19 vaccination programme is equitable, the Centre had introduced Near-to-Home COVID-19 vaccination centres (NHCVC) for elderly and differently-abled citizens earlier this year.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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However, the government has learnt that some citizens who might be bed-ridden or have extremely restricted mobility or disability and/or special needs are not able to reach even the NHCVCs. For them, the Centre will be arranging for vaccination at their respective places of residence using mobile vaccination teams.

The Union Health Ministry has directed concerned officials to draw up a line-list of such potential beneficiaries and their caregivers “in the catchment area of every planning unit”. The data will have to be collated at the district level, the Health Ministry said in a circular issued on September 22.

The activity will be supervised by the nodal officer designated for grievance redressal of differently-abled persons.

Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here
Moneycontrol News
first published: Sep 23, 2021 05:32 pm

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