Circular on vaccination for airport staff withdrawn


The Department of Health and Family Welfare has withdrawn a circular issued last week which stated that airport staff should be considered as frontline workers.

The circular had stated that all staff members at airports across Karnataka were to be considered as COVID-19 frontline workers permitted to get vaccinated on a “priority basis”. It had also tasked district health and family welfare officers to make necessary arrangements and ensure that all staff members at airports received the vaccine as per the existing protocol.

Late on Saturday, however, the Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare Department stated that the circular had been withdrawn. “At airports in Karnataka, only the staff covered as healthcare worker or frontline worker as defined by the Government of India instructions will be included in the list for COVID-19 vaccination,” a new circular stated.

Explaining why the first circular was withdrawn, a senior official said the decision to prioritise airport staff was criticised “There are many other frontline workers such as police personnel who should be vaccinated and given preference over the airport staff. As these objections were raised, the department decided to withdraw the order,” an official said.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, besides health workers, personnel from the armed forces, prison staff, and municipal workers, among others, are considered as frontline workers but the list does not include personnel in the aviation sector. The Civil Aviation Ministry has, however, written to the Union Health Ministry stating that after health workers, those in the aviation industry should be given preference to get the jabs.

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Sagar Biswas

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