NEW DELHI: To ensure no one gets left out of the vaccination exercise against COVID-19, the North West Delhi district administration has set up a four-day camp dedicated to vaccinating transgenders. The camp, set up at Sultanpuri, has been initiated by the District Magistrate Cheshta Yadav. So far, more than 120 transgenders have got the jabs in the camp within two days.
"On Wednesday, more than 80 turned up to get vaccinated till Wednesday evening, On Tuesday, 45 beneficiaries got the jab. The response has been good so far and we hope that more transgenders will come to get vaccinated. This is a campsite because they will not keep coming permanently. We will modify it when required. As of now it is for four days and when required again, we will start it," said the DM.
Talking about sensitising the team, Yadav noted that the staff providing the vaccines at the special camp have been given one-day orientation. "We are in touch with an NGO and the team is sensitised, a team of teachers who are themselves very sensitised about the community so they are not facing any issues as such. The number of those who took the jab is an indication that they wanted the centre and has been helpful for them. Word has reached the transgenders," she added.
Dr Satendra Singh, organisational head, Doctors with Disabilities: Agents of Change, had earlier written to the Delhi government requesting special attention for vaccination of transgenders.
Dr Singh said that gender dysphoria in public places, lack of government identification cards, historical abuse in medical establishments, poor internet access, misinformation, and stigma have so far disproportionately affected health care as well as vaccination in the community.
"Rather than reducing existing disparities, we are creating new ones by the digital divide and emphasis on CoWin App/website. On the app, government is still using the 'others' option. The number of people availing this service is still low. It is largely because Delhi government has not yet created Transgender Welfare Board. It could have fast-tracked the drive," he added.