Assam govt starts special Covid vaccination drive for transgender

Assam, May 16: Thirty members of the transgender community got their first Covid vaccination dose in Guwahati Assam. It was the first such step reported in the entire country, sources in the government said.

The inoculation drive carried out at a shelter home for transgender in the city, was conducted with support from the state’s health department.

After taking the first dose of COVID vaccination, Swati Bidhan Baruah, founder of the All Assam Transgender Association and associate vice-chairperson of Assam government’s transgender welfare board said, “The main source of income of most transgender people is begging. Since they come into contact with other people, they are very vulnerable to getting infected“.

As a marginalized group, they were getting left out of the vaccination process and when we requested the health department, we got a very positive response. They helped with the logistics and we were able to start the vaccination drive without any glitch,” Baruah added.

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The drive at this moment is restricted in Guwahati but is likely to be extended across the state depending on the availability of the vaccine.

There are an estimated 20,000 members of the transgender community in Assam.

Assam’s COVID-19 tally mounted to 3,24,979 on Saturday as 5,347 more people tested positive for the disease, while 63 fresh fatalities pushed the coronavirus number of deaths to 2,123, a bulletin issued by the National Health Mission said.