Chemists say 650 dead, demand priority vax, threaten “blockade” | India News
After their repeated requests to be considered essential service workers in need of priority vaccinations were unsuccessful, the All India Association of Pharmacy and Druggists (AIAOCD) has now threatened that its 9.40 billion members across the country “can join the shutdown at any time.”
JS Shinde, president and Rajiv Singhal, the AIAOCD general secretary, said in a statement: “Despite all the danger, every chemist is continually serving the country. Drug dispensing and distribution are as important as the work of doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and sanitation workers. It was logical to vaccinate front-line workers, but despite repeated calls, chemists were marginalized for no reason. Since March 2020, more than 650 chemists and pharmacists have lost their lives to Covid-19 infection. ”
AIAOCD had in the past written about this matter at Niti aayog, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the PMO. “We are not asking to be considered as healthcare workers, but we are also serving the nation. To make sure we keep doing this, we need to be vaccinated, protected. We ask the government to open special vaccination camps for us, especially for our younger workforce, “said Singhal, a pharmaceuticals distributor in Indore. “If there is no vaccine for us, we will join the lockdown.”
However, Assam, Goa and Kerala they have organized special vaccination camps for chemists and pharmacists in recent days.
Like chemists, medical device manufacturers also require their workers to be vaccinated. In a letter dated May 20, the Indian Medical Device Industry Association (MANAGED) wrote to Dr. Vinod Kumar Paul, Member, Niti Aayog and Chief, National Group of Experts on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, requesting “inclusion of medical device employees on the vaccination priority list.”
Rajiv Nath, coordinator of the forum, AIMED, said that medical device employees are getting sick because they have not been vaccinated. “This is causing production losses and supply chain disruptions leading to a localized shortage of devices,” said Nath, MD, Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices Ltd.