No data on vaccinated transgender people: Govt in Lok Sabha
The government does not have data on the number of transgender people above 45 years of age who have had their Covid vaccine shots, the ministry of social justice told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The ministry was responding to DMK leader D M Kathir Anand’s question on whether transgender people above the age of 45 have been vaccinated.
The ministry added that it has directed states and Union Territories to ensure that the existing vaccination centres are friendly to members of the community and “no discrimination is shown towards transgender persons”. It said they have also requested the ministry of health and family welfare to take necessary steps in ensuring vaccination of transgender persons.
Dr Aqsa Sheikh, the nodal officer for Covid Vaccination Centre, Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, told HT that a lot of transgender individuals have transitioned and have their desired gender in their document. Therefore, it is wrong to assume that only those who got vaccinated under the others category are transgender people.
“When collating the data, the government had to look not only into the ‘others’ column but also into the other two columns which also includes a large number of trans people. The government played it safe by saying they don’t have data,” she said.
Dr Aqsa also pointed out the there are apprehensions and hesitation within the transgender community regarding vaccination and its side effects because a lot of trans individuals are on hormones or undergoing treatment for HIV or gender affirmation surgeries. She added that the ministry of health and family welfare has not issued any FAQ or a document answering their queries.
In response to another question by the DMK leader, the government said according to its data, only 64,374 transgender individuals have Aadhar cards. As per the 2011 census, there are 488,000 transgender individuals in the country.