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Coronavirus Pandemic

India holds vaccination drive for persons with disabilities

A medical worker prepare an injection of vaccine during a vaccination drive at a community healthcare center.
Photo: Dreamstime

Authorities in Ahmedabad city have organised a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination campaign for persons with disabilities.

Organisers of the weekend campaign in Ahmedabad city, in Gujarat state, aim to vaccinate 500 persons with disabilities, who often struggle to book slots and get access to vaccination centres.

“The vaccination process is now more convenient,” said Mahendra Chudasma, a 45-year-old man who is visually disabled.
“It’s a very nice feeling.”

Despite being a significant producer of coronavirus vaccines, India faces a massive task in inoculating its 1.3 billion people, partly due to the logistical difficulties of reaching remote areas and skepticism about the vaccine.

People with disabilities often face additional problems of being unable to reach vaccination sites due to a lack of transport or no ramps at the centres for easy access, said Bhushan Punani, general secretary of the Blind People’s Association in Ahmedabad, one of the organisers of the campaign.

Some people have struggled to use a government-mandated smartphone app required to register for shots, he added.

India was hit hard by a surge of coronavirus infections in April and May, but there are signs the worst could be over.

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