New Delhi: The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) has issued guidelines to expedite the vaccination program with speed, efficiency, and convenience to ensure timely vaccination of people from the aviation community. The aviation community has worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth movement of people for the movement of Covid-19. And with this, necessary medical materials such as vaccines, medicines, oxygen concentrators, etc. have been transported without any hindrance. In such a situation, the Civil Aviation Secretary has written to all the state governments urging that the vaccine be included in the priority group of persons involved in aviation and its related services under the vaccination program.
As per the guidelines, all companies associated with the civil aviation sector were advised to cover their employees under the ongoing immunization program. The guidelines further state that organizations that have already made arrangements with government / private service providers to vaccinate their employees may continue to do so.
In addition, airport operators have advised to set up a vaccination facility at their respective airports. So that the personnel involved in aviation or related services (including contracts, contingencies) can facilitate early vaccination. The guideline also states that airport operators should immediately contact state governments / private service providers (hospitals) who are willing to set up Kovid vaccination centers at airports.
The guidelines also state that airport operator will have to provide facilities such as setting up vaccination counters, separate waiting areas (before and after vaccination). During this period, basic facilities such as help (such as help desk, drinking water, open-air, fans, washrooms, etc.) will also have to be provided under the Covid protocol for those coming for vaccination. The cost of the vaccine per dose will be decided by the airport operators and service providers. These facilities will be available to all concerned parties in the aviation sector at the same cost. It has been further stated that all agencies working in the airport ecosystem should make arrangements to get their employees vaccinated. For this, operator / service provider companies will not undertake vaccination at individual level. In addition, service providers should also create online payment systems to pay the vaccine dose of the employees concerned.
Also for small airports (where the number of employees for vaccination is small and private companies do not find it practical), airport operators can contact the district / local administration to expand the vaccination program. The facilities created by the airport operator will be available to all civil aviation employees in the first phase and later the scope can be extended to the family members.
Guidelines state that priority should be given to vaccinating employees who come in direct contact with ATC personnel, airline crew (both cockpit and cabin), risk missions, and passengers. All airport operators are advised to appoint a Nodal Officer (an alternate Nodal Officer may also be hired immediately) to coordinate the vaccination program.
The guidelines state that the KAI chairman will hold regular meetings with the ministry and DGCA to coordinate, review work, resolve problems and challenges. If there is an issue of vaccine availability, the Ministry will take steps at an appropriate level for uninterrupted supply.
The order further mentions that the suggested guidelines can be made relevant and improved in view of local needs, but under this, it will be necessary to follow all the security protocols and directives made by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the State Governments.