Government relaxes norms for differently-abled due to difficulties faced by them during the lockdown period
The Kerala government has relaxed norms for differently abled persons in the 18-44 age group to get COVID-19 vaccine. They need not upload a recent medical certificate by a registered medical practitioner, but a Disability Board certificate will do.
Differently abled people and those with serious illnesses had been finding it difficult to get the vaccine as a priority group because of the condition that they should upload a recent medical certificate, along with other details for registration. It was pointed out that most of these people were not in a position to approach doctors and get a medical certificate in the lockdown period. Some of the doctors had been busy attending to COVID-19 patients also.
A majority of the applications for vaccination got rejected for lack of a co-morbidity certificate and less than 10% of them were approved. Senior National Health Mission officials had claimed that the guidelines were uniform across the country. Kareem Karassery, general convener, Kerala Blood Patients Protection Council, had urged Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to waive off the condition on medical certificate.
However, on May 22, R. Ramesh, Director, Health Services, issued a circular saying that the disability certificate issued by the Disability Board should be accepted for the registration of COVID-19 vaccination. All district medical officers and child health officers, who are in charge of vaccination, need to accept the certificate issued as per The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.
Mr. Karassery said that there were around 7 lakh differently abled people, including children, in the State. Of them, around 60% could be in the 18-44 age group who would benefit from the new directive.
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