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Fact Check: Will Those Without ID Cards, Like Beggars, Get COVID Vaccine?

New Delhi: A valid identity card is mandatory to register for vaccination in India.

Any document from among Aadhaar card, voter card, passport, driving licence, PAN card, NPR smart card and pension are accepted.

But in a country with a population of over 135 crore, there are thousands of poor and underprivileged people, like street beggars, who don’t have a permanent shelter and two square meals a day. Many of them haven’t even heard of what a government ID card is.

Does that mean they won’t be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Well, the Centre has identified several groups of people who will be provided the vaccine without photo identity cards. They include nomads (including sadhus/saints), beggars, prison inmates, inmates in mental health institutions, people in old age homes, those residing in rehabilitation centres and any other eligible persons who don’t have one of the seven photo ID cards.

“COVID-19 vaccination services will not be denied in absence of identity proof,” the Union Health & Family Welfare ministry said.

The ministry has entrusted district task forces with the responsibility of registering people from these identified groups on CoWIN.

A key facilitator with a valid ID card will be the point person for vaccination of such people. As examples, the Centre said prison officials and old age home officials can serve as key facilitators.

People from these groups will be vaccinated at government centres only, after a key facilitator verifies the identity of beneficiary.