The letter addressed to the health ministry read, “Considering that the frontline workers of airlines and airports are also involved in the movement of vaccines, this Ministry recognises the merit in the proposal and requests the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to include front line workers of airlines and airports along with front line workers mentioned in the operational guidelines released on 28th of December 2020.”
“If the request is considered favourably, the Ministry would coordinate for enumeration of these personnel to be covered under vaccination program”, it added.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation letter added, “I am happy to inform that the airlines and airports have been at the forefront in extending their services to the passengers and movement of cargo within the count and across the borders. The vital role played by Air India and other domestic airlines for the resumption of flights and to facilitate the movement of stranded Indians have been noteworthy.”
“You will agree with me that the Crew, Engineers, Technicians, Ground Staff, Frontline workers in aviation have certain risk elements while performing their duties in a most diligent manner and make the air transportation a safe mode of transport”, the ministry stated in its letter.
Recently, airlines and airports have approached the Ministry of Civil Aviation and highlighted the need to vaccinate their staff on a priority basis, albeit once the medical personnel are inoculated.
The nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 16, 2021. Termed as the world’s largest vaccination program, covering the entire length and breadth of the country, the drive aims to first vaccinate millions of its healthcare and frontline workers and reach an estimated 3 crore people by the end of its first phase.