As the country battles with both, a more virulent strain of corona virus and a shortage of vaccines, West Bengal government has decided to prioritise vaccination for groups who are more susceptible to infection, or could act as “potential spreaders”. Transgender community has been included by the Bengal government in this priority group.

“The priority groups include retail sellers of vegetables, fish, grocery; employees of ration shops, kerosene shops, fuel pumps; lawyers, law clerks, muharrirs; sex workers and transgenders; inmates of social welfare homes and correctional homes; and newspaper vendors, among others,” The Telegraph reported.

An order issued by the state health secretary states that since the availability of covid vaccine doses is insufficient, the available doses will be divided for two groups – general public and priority groups. The order states that priority groups are “groups which are super-spreaders/ public-facing/forcibly exposed to public mingling: groups which are endangered as well as potential spreaders.” The vaccination for priority groups will be done at hospitals run by the state government.

“As of now, we have four centres dedicated for vaccination of hawkers and transport workers. We may open a few more centres dedicated to other priority groups. These are people who are receiving their first dose,” a CMC official told The Telegraph.

Sukhdeep Singh