New Delhi: India’s civil aviation industry professionals will be considered for anti-Covid vaccination during the second stage of the national inoculation drive. The industry has played a crucial role in evacuation of millions and re-connecting supply chains to ferry essentials during the pandemic period.
The sector is considered as crucial for fast economic recovery, as air passengers’ numbers rise and markets re-open. The industry provides the solid logistical backend in supply of vaccines to various hubs and regional centres across the country.
In this context, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has written to the Health Ministry requesting that industry professionals be considered to be inoculated in the second phase.
Civil Aviation Ministry’s Joint Secretary Usha Padhee said: “We have already submitted an application and requested the Ministry of Health to consider the airline and airport staff in the second stage of vaccination.”
“Since, they are involved in travel and also in the vaccine movement, we will enumerate the number of people who interact directly with the public for the vaccination. We are pursuing it,” Padhee told IANS.
Besides the ministry, the demand for vaccinating aviation professionals has been raised by the industry. India launched the biggest vaccination drive in the world January 16.
The programme is backed up by the country’s comparative advantage of having the largest vaccine manufacturing capacity in the world and a rich experience of mass inoculation drives against polio and measles.
Currently, India plans to vaccinate around 300 million of its population by July 2021.