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Government issues guidelines for vaccinating aviation personnel – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Union aviation ministry on Thursday issued guidelines to ensure vaccination of all stakeholders. However given the crippling shortage of Covid vaccines, it could be a while before this advisory could translate into the frontline aviation workers getting the jab.
Scores of personnel have got this infection so far and some have even lost their lives. Earlier this week, Air India pilots had threatened to stop flying unless the airline ensures the complete rounds of vaccination for them.
Aviation personnel, like other front-line workers, have been playing a key role during the pandemic. Last year they ensured continuity of aerial connectivity and now, in addition to that, they are instrumental in receiving critical Covid aid flowing in from across the world and ensuring the same reaches all parts of the country.
Despite their critical role, aviation personnel are sour at not being designated a priority category for getting the jabs till now.
The belated ministry guidelines suggest priority be given to “ATC, crew of airlines (both cockpit and cabin), mission critical and passenger-facing staff on priority.”
It “advises all players in civil aviation sector to cover their personnel under the ongoing vaccination program…. a dedicated vaccination facility (may be) established by airport operators in their respective airports to facilitate expeditious vaccination for (all) personnel… Airport operator should immediately contact state governments/private service providers (hospitals), who are willing to set up Covid Vaccination Centres at Airports.”
The ministry says cost per vaccination dose can be decided by airport operators with the service provider. “The facilities created by airport operator would be available for all civil aviation personnel in first phase and can be extended to the family members subsequently.”