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Pune: Just 20,000 of 35 lakh with disabilities vaccinated (Corona pandemic) 14.10.2021

Health officials said 22,901 persons with disabilities have been vaccinated so far as per rough estimates, but the tally will have to be cross-checked with the disability commissioner officer.

PUNE: State public health officials estimate that only around 20,000 persons with disabilities have been vaccinated, though the numbers could be higher. According to the disability commissioner’s office, the state currently has around 35 lakh persons with disabilities; the 2011 Census pegged the number at 29 lakh.
Health officials said 22,901 persons with disabilities have been vaccinated so far as per rough estimates, but the tally will have to be cross-checked with the disability commissioner officer.
“Maharashtra’s differently-abled population is 2.5% of the total population, which would have increased to 3.5%. We feel that the number of vaccinated persons is much higher than what is estimated by state public health officials,” said disability commissioner Omprakash Deshmukh. He said the numbers are being verified so that the administration can reach more people.
Deshmukh said the real figures are not known as the CoWIN application does not have a category for persons with disabilities and neither has any record been maintained since the vaccination drive began in January.

“After the Centre’s directive, many persons with disabilities who were able to reach the vaccination centres were given preference. However, there are many who are unable to reach vaccine centres and vaccination at home must be ensure in such cases,” he said.
Activist Rafiq Khan, who works for the welfare of persons with disabilities, told TOI that with no official figures, there can only be estimates. “We have several groups across the state and most people who have been unable to reach vaccination centres have been left out,” he added.