Panaji: The directorate of health services began vaccination of Nepalese nationals and those without photo IDs on Saturday, prompting 750 people in Panaji and at least 250 in Siolim to get their first dose against Covid-19 by the end of the day.
“The drive will continue in Panaji on Sunday as the vaccination of all 2,000 people who reported at the vaccination site in the city could not be completed,” Dr Rajendra Borkar, a district immunisation officer told TOI.
Borkar said they have taken up vaccination of Nepalese nationals after the central government issued a circular three days ago and the district administration was asked to identify potential beneficiaries and inform them about the vaccination programme. The drive will also be held in South Goa.
Those without photo identities, he said, are vaccinated by using a phone number and the photo identity of a facilitating officer from the district office.
Others who are vaccinated without having photo identity proofs are beggars and nomads. They have not received a direction to vaccinate foreign nationals — even those with Aadhaar cards — or OCI cardholders who are currently in Goa.
He said though foreigners holding Aadhaar cards may report for vaccination, their passports will not be accepted on the portal. “They want their passport to be linked, but it can’t be done as theirs and our digits will not tally. I have made the officers aware of this difficulty,” he said.
Vaccinating foreigners with Aadhaar cards is also not as per the guidelines, he said.
An expert committee on Friday suggested that foreign nationals in the state and who are above 18 years of age be given an opportunity to get inoculated
However, the officer said they will not able to do it unless there are clear instructions from the government. “Even though the expert committee has recommended that foreigners in Goa have to be vaccinated, there needs to be a written approval of the government for that to happen,” he added.