As India’s vaccination efforts ramp up, the government has issued guidelines to inoculate aviation employees. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has also reached out to states to prioritize aviation staff due to their frontline role in the pandemic. India opened vaccines to all adults from May 1st, allowing all airline staff to be vaccinated now.
As vaccines become available to all adults across India, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is stepping up to prioritize aviation staff. Guidelines issued yesterday call upon all companies in the industry to set up vaccination camps for their employees as soon as possible.
The major request has been directed towards airports, asking them to set up dedicated vaccine counters for frontline staff immediately. This includes all airline crews, air traffic controllers, passenger-facing staff, and other critical personnel. The price per dose can be set by airport operators and vaccine providers, although many might make vaccines free for their employees.
While major airports might be able to support dedicated vaccine counters, smaller ones may not. Therefore, smaller airports can reach out to local authorities to outsource vaccinations for their staff.
In addition to the airport facilities, organizations are also free to continue making vaccine agreements with other government or private groups. Airlines have already begun vaccinating using their own resources, and the government does not stop that.
During the first phase, the airport vaccine facilities will only be open to aviation employees, as listed above. However, once most staff are covered, the facilities could be expanded to their family members as well. This expanding role might mean that airports become key to vaccination efforts across India.