India’s transgenders ‘left out’ of Covid vaccination drive

India’s transgender community has complained it is being neglected from the nationwide Covid vaccination drive and has called for easier access to vaccines in community-friendly settings and assistance in booking slots. Last week’s figures showed just over 19,000 transgender people had been vaccinated. Many in the LGBTI community, which numbers nearly half a million, are already suffering from HIV, complications from sex reassignment surgery, and drug addiction. Medical experts point out many are immuno-compromised – putting them at a higher risk of Covid. On the flip side, transphobia in healthcare has made them hesitant to seek out vaccines. “We are looked down on by society. In this pandemic, it is extremely difficult to get proper help, especially with vaccination. The government should be sympathetic,” Zakia, a 29-year old transgender person told RFI.