Centre asks states to conduct vaccine drive for beggars, vagabonds
The Centre has urged states and union territories to conduct special vaccination sessions for the destitute, beggars and vagabonds who may not have access to self-registration and lack resources for vaccination.
In a letter to the chief secretaries of states and the administrators of UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the state government may take the help of NGOs, civil society organisations and public spirited citizens/volunteers in this endeavour.
Bhushan said more than 45 crore vaccine doses have been administered till date.
The vaccination drive is people-centric and provisions have been made to make it accessible to all eligible priority groups irrespective of their socioeconomic status, he said in his letter dated July 29.
"There is a need to keep the focus of Covid vaccination on the most vulnerable groups to ensure vaccination is equitable and accessible to all," the letter said.
"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," said the letter addressed.
The ministry has already advised all states and UTs, through a letter on May 6, for providing Covid vaccination to such group 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, he said.
"You are, therefore, requested to direct the concerned Departments of Social Justice and Empowerment and Health in your State/UT to work together to facilitate vaccination of the destitutes, beggars and vagabonds.
"Concerned Departments of the State Government may take the help of NGOs/CSOs and public spirited citizens/volunteers in this endeavour. Special session may be planned for conducting the vaccination for this group of persons," the letter stated.