30% of the ‘differently abled’ vaccinated in Karnataka

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The Karnataka government has completed the vaccination drive for nearly 30 % of the differently-abled people as per the directions issued by the Karnataka High Court to vaccinate them on priority against the deadly Coronavirus.

The government had initiated a specific vaccination drive for the differently-abled, which has catered to 1.60 lakh individuals throughout the state, as per the officials in the Department of Empowerment of Differently-abled and Senior Citizens. According to the data released, the state of Karnataka has 8.62 lakh, differently-abled individuals, from which 2.5 lakh are in 45-60 years of age and 2.96 belong to the 18-44 years age group.

The department has collaborated with various NGOs and deployed nodal officers at the taluk level for the management of the drive. In certain regions, the volunteers were observed escorting people to the closest vaccination centers. In cases where mobility was the problem, the inoculation was conducted at their homes.

While addressing DH, V Muniraju, director, Department of Empowerment of Differently-Abled and Senior Citizens, said the department had created helplines at the taluk level. For anyone having mobility issues, they can contact the helpline and will be vaccinated at home.

To ensure the vaccination covers all of them, the government is not asking for any ID cards. He said, “They do not even have to show the Unique Disability ID (UDID card).”

The citizens are identified from the database of the differently-abled citizens’ pensions. But, for anyone left out, they can contact the nodal officer and they too will be vaccinated.

According to an official, nonetheless persuading people to get vaccinated is a challenge. He added, “Many people fear that vaccination leads to fatalities. We are conducting awareness programmes through village rehabilitation workers and urban rehabilitation workers.”

The regions where a high prevalence of taboo around vaccination is observed are Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Chitradurga, and Chikkamagaluru. On the contrary, several districts like Davangere (75% differently-abled vaccinated), Kolar (63%), Chikkaballapur (60%) have shown positive results. According to the data from the department, Bengaluru Urban has shown 40 % vaccination.

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