Many differently abled, seriously ill unable to get COVID-19 vaccine

Many not in a position to get medical certificate during lockdown

Differently abled people and those with serious illnesses in the 18-44 age group in the State are finding it difficult to get COVID-19 vaccine as a priority group because of the condition that they should upload a recent medical certificate.

Kareem Karassery, general convener, Kerala Blood Patients Protection Council, has urged Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to waive off this condition. Of the 40,786 applications submitted till May 16, only 1,681 had been approved. Mr. Karassery claimed that only eight of the 1,300 applications from Wayanad were considered for vaccination.

“Most of these people are not in a position to approach doctors and get a medical certificate in the lockdown period. Doctors are busy with COVID-related work as well,” he said. Most of the applications for vaccination are getting rejected now for lack of a co-morbidity certificate.

When senior officials of the National Health Mission were contacted, they pointed out that the guidelines were uniform across the country and that they had been formulated by the Centre. The officials suggested that the differently abled could try for a medical certificate countersigned from the healthcare institution where they were getting vaccinated. The approving medical practitioner need not be the treating doctor, they said.

Mr. Karassery has urged the Chief Minister to allow differently abled people and those with serious illnesses to get vaccinated if they produce their existing medical records.

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