COVID-19: Vaccination Of Transgender Persons Begins In Assam

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In a first-of-its-kind vaccine drive in the country, 40 transgenders in the 18-44 age group were given the 1st dose of Covaxin shot in Guwahati on May 14.

The shot was given at Tritiyo Nivas, a shelter home for the third gender in the Hatigaon locality of the city.

The brain behind this drive is Swati Bidhan Baruah- northeast’s first transgender judge.
Baruah convinced these 40 transgender people to come forward and take the vaccine shot so that they are also protected from the deadliness of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

It may be mentioned here that there are about 300 transgender people in Kamrup (Metropolitan) district comprising Guwahati and some areas beyond.
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Even though more of them had turned up for the vaccination, however, all of them could not take the shot as they had either not registered or did not carry any identity card.

Speaking to The Hindu Swati Bidhan Baruah said that many transgender people belonging to the Muslim community could not turn up for the vaccination drive due to Eid celebrations back home.

“They will be covered in the next few sessions along with 15 others who are 45 years and older,” Baruah informed.

The transgender-specific vaccination was jointly conducted by the All Assam Transgender Association and the State Directorate of Health Services.

Baruah further informed that no other state government has taken any initiative for the community.

“In places like Hyderabad, members of the community were even discriminated against and denied vaccination,” The Hindu further reported quoting Baruah.

People from the community who took the first jab expressed their happiness and said that they were in fear of being left out from vaccination.

Baruah further informed that her association would coordinate with Health Department officials to inoculate transgenders in other parts of Assam in the next phase.

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