Nepal has started to vaccinate people with disabilities across the country against the coronavirus with the Johnson & Johnson single-shot jab. At Kathmandu’s Khagendra New Life Centre, there was a long queue of people in their wheelchairs and walking sticks waiting for their turn to inoculate.
“We welcome the government’s decision to start vaccinating the people with disabilities but we had to advocate a lot to get to this point,” says Raju Basnet of the National Federation of Disabled Nepal.
He adds: “Differently abled people should have been prioritised along with the elderly. As it is, they have very limited access to the services, education and jobs, moreover, they are also immunocompromised.”
All differently-abled individuals with either their citizenship card or disability ID card are eligible for the J&J vaccine. But people with normal disabilities are still not prioritised, say some rights activists.