The Centre on Thursday announced that differently-abled persons and those with restricted mobility will be given Covid-19 vaccines at their homes, the Hindustan Times reported. Niti Aayog member (Health) VK Paul made the announcement during the health ministry’s weekly briefing.

“Those who do not have enough mobility that they can be brought out of their home, or if someone has a disability or some special needs that they can’t be brought to the centre… for them we have made the provision of at-home vaccination under supervision,” Paul said.

Paul expressed confidence that the system that will be introduced to vaccinate people at home will be “safe, effective, nurturing and supportive”.

The decision comes two days after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to list out steps it has taken to prioritise vaccination for differently-abled persons, The Times of India reported.

The court passed the direction in response to a petition by a non-government organisation Evara Foundation. The foundation contended that although the Indian Medical Association recommended door-to-door inoculation of differently-abled persons, only Jharkhand and Kerala have implemented it.

On August 1, Mumbai’s civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, started vaccinations for bed-ridden and immobile persons.

On August 12, the civic body told the Bombay High Court that 4,889 people had registered for the campaign, ANI reported. Out of these, 1,317 people were vaccinated till August 9, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said.

In the press conference on Thursday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that about 66% of the country’s adult population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, ANI reported. He added that about 23% of the adult population has received both the doses.

“We have been able to achieve this due to tremendous work by some states,” he said.

Bhushan said that six states and Union Territories have administered first doses to their entire adult population. These were Lakshadweep, Chandigarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Sikkim.

India has administered 83,39,90,049 Covid-19 vaccine doses since the immunisation drive began in January. On Wednesday, 71,38,205 shots were administered.

The health secretary said that the weekly positivity rate in the country is less than 3% and it has been declining for the past 12 weeks.

The country on Thursday recorded 31,923 new coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally to 3,35,63,421 since the pandemic first broke out in January last year.