In a first, Ludhiana to vaccinate scribes, staff of banks, judiciary (Ld)

Ludhiana on Monday became the first city in India to extend Covid vaccination to the people beyond the priority group listed by the Centre.

In a decision taken on late Monday evening, the district administration of Ludhiana allowed ongoing vaccination programme to all the employees of all government/private banks, government/private schools, staff of food grain agencies, judicial officers/court staff/advocates, journalists, members of the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) who have worked to check spread of Covid-19 pandemic, officials informed IANS.

The decision has also been given a go-ahead from the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, officials claimed.

The aforementioned will be listed as frontline workers, they added.

“The decision is taken in the larger public interest to ensure the safety of the wider population from the Covid pandemic,” said Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Singh.

“They all have worked tirelessly during the pandemic and have discharged their duties as frontline workers either online or offline modes,” he added.

The move comes after Sharma presided over a meeting of the District Task Force to stem steep rise by accelerating the vaccination drive to face the pandemic.

The officials told IANS that the new category of beneficiaries will have to receive the jabs on-site since CoWIN will not accept their registration.

“For vaccination, they will have to carry their official ID verifying their job profile and Aadhaar Card and to the vaccination sites,” an official from health and family welfare department of Punjab said.

So far, the union government has allowed vaccination against Covid-19 only to healthcare workers, frontline workers, people aged above 60 and those between 45-69 years of age with comorbid conditions.

The vaccination with the first phase was launched on January 16 for 1 crore healthcare professionals. It was extended to around 3 crore frontline workers on February 2

The Centre had included police, civil defence, home guards, paramilitary personnel, municipal workers, disaster management professionals, fire safety personnel and prison staffers in the list of frontline workers.

Since March 1, the vaccination drive is opened to the senior citizens and those above 45 with comorbidities. The government had allowed 20 underlying health condition to avail the Covid-19 vaccines for those falling in age priority group between 45 and 59.

India also crossed an important milestone in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic on Monday by administering the vaccine to over 3.17 crore so far.