Punjab to prioritise vax to students travelling abroad

Chief Minister directed the Health and Medical Education departments to allow districts to use up to 10% of the doses for 18-45 group for priority categories


Students wanting to go abroad for studies from Punjab will now be prioritised in the vaccination process for the 18-45 group, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced on Monday.

At a high-level virtual Covid review meeting, the Chief Minister directed the Health and Medical Education departments to allow districts to use up to 10% of the doses for 18-45 group for priority categories other than those approved at state level. Besides students seeking to go abroad, caregivers of elderly persons and other urgent priority groups may be included in this list, he added.

Captain Amarinder also asked the concerned departments to proactively vaccinate all persons in the categories already prioritised by the state government in this age group, based on vaccine availability. This, he stressed, was essential to keep the risk of spread low as the restrictions are eased in the state.

The state had initially prioritised construction labour, co-morbid individuals and families of healthcare workers in in the 18-45 age group, and has already vaccinated over 4.3 lakh individuals in these categories.  

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The list was subsequently expanded to include Shopkeepers and their staff; Staff working in the Hospitality industry (hotels, restaurants, marriage palaces, caterers), including cooks, bearers etc; Industrial workers; Rehri walahs, other street vendors especially those serving food items-juice, chat, fruit etc., Delivery boys, LPG distribution boys; Bus drivers, conductors, auto/ cab drivers; and Local body leaders - mayors, councillors, sarpanches, panches.