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Assam launches COVID-19 vaccination drive for transgenders

GUWAHATI: Thirty members of the transgender community in Guwahati received their first COVID vaccine dose on Friday.

According to reports, it was the first time such a move had been announced across the country.

The inoculation campaign, which took place at a transgender shelter in the area was supported by the state’s health department.

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Swati Bidhan Baruah, member of the All Assam Transgender Association and associate vice-chairperson of the Assam government’s transgender welfare board after receiving the first dose of vaccine said, “Begging is the primary source of income for most transgender people. They are very susceptible to infection when they come into contact with other people.”

“They were being left out of the vaccine process because they were a minority group, and when we approached the health department, we received a very positive response. They assisted with logistics, allowing us to begin the vaccination drive without delay,” Baruah added.

The vaccination drive is currently limited to Guwahati, but it is expected to be expanded throughout the state depending on vaccine availability.

In Assam, the transgender community numbers about 20,000 people.

According to a bulletin released by the National Health Mission Assam’s COVID-19 tally increased to 3,24,979 on Saturday with 5,347 more people testing positive for the disease and 63 new fatalities bringing the total number of coronavirus deaths to 2,123.

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