Representational Image
Representational Image

A group of citizens working towards COVID-19 vaccination of the underprivileged people has now extended its reach to the transgender community in Maharashtra's Pune city.

As part of the 'VaxAll Initiative', 169 transgenders were vaccinated at a private hospital here on Monday, an official from the medical facility said.

The volunteers' group has set up an exclusive vaccination centre at the Sancheti Hospital here for the transgender community from July 12 to 15.

An outreach programme is in place to spread awareness among the transgender community members and ensure most of them get vaccinated via this camp, the group said in a statement.

"Rapid vaccination is the only hope to control COVID-19, and we as citizens decided to support the wonderful work already being done by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the government," VaxAll Initiative founder Raj Hajela said.

He said their mission is to ensure "vaccination for all".

He thanked PMC Additional Commissioner Rubal Agarwal, Nyati Builders, Sancheti Hospital, Robin Hood Army (social organisation) and transgender activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi for their help in making this happen.

Tripathi lauded the initiative to support one of the most challenging sections of society.

Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of Serum Institute of India, who was present at the vaccination drive for transgenders started at the Sancheti Hospital, tweeted, "I have always believed that healthcare and dignity should be fundamental human rights. I look forward to collaborating with @ImLaxmiNarayan in providing equal opportunities to the transgender community in India." The hospital's chairman, Dr Parag Sancheti, said 169 transgenders were vaccinated at the medical facility on the first day of the drive on Monday.

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Free Press Journal