Misinformation, lack of government identification cards and poor internet access has made it tougher for India’s ‘Trans’ community to get vaccinated. As of May 17, according to health ministry data, 7.53 crore men 6.75 crore women were vaccinated in the country. In comparison, just 20,269 people, in what the government classifies as the ‘other’ category, got the Covid-19 vaccine.
Lots of misinformation about vaccine
There is also a lot of misinformation going around about what happens after one takes the vaccine. They need counselling on how important is to get vaccinated. Lack of awareness and illiteracy is their greatest concern. They are a marginalised community, the pandemic has only added to an already existing mental stress. The trans community’s distrust of institutions, especially hospitals, is adding to their vaccine hesitation. Many in their community are HIV positive and are immunocompromised, so they are very afraid of going to crowded places and exposing themselves.
Vaccination drive criticised for creating a digital divide
India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive has some poised questions. It is being criticised for creating a digital divide. One can book a slot via the CoWin app or website – a practice that requires a functioning internet and a smartphon, both of which are privileges not often afforded by the trans community.
Adding to their woes is the need for a government ID proof such as an Aadhar card. Most people do not have any kind of documentation. They are not able to provide the ration card because they do not have proper IDs. So a lack of IDs is hampering the vaccination drive among this community.
Good news is that- on May 14, the Assam government became the first to announce special vaccination centres for the trans community.