India started inoculations with frontline and health workers, and went on to people above 60

New Delhi:
Vaccinations will not be opened to all ages any time soon, the government said today, stressing on the need to cover the most vulnerable groups amid a surge in Covid cases. Uddhav Thackeray, Arvind Kejriwal and IMA sought wider inoculation drive.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. “The approach is that those vulnerable to mortality need to be covered soonest. The aim is to protect the most vulnerable. The aim is never to vaccinate whoever wants it, but always whoever needs it,” said Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary.

  2. After his comment drew criticism, Mr Bhushan told ANI that it is a “fallacy that vaccination process controlled by state”. Pointing to the limited supply of vaccine till July, he said the government is following a “dynamic supply demand mapping model” to decide when to open up vaccines to other age groups.

  3. Vaccinations cannot be trivialized, added VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog. “When we talk about opening vaccination to all, our focus reduces on controlling the pandemic. Did you hear any country that is vaccinating those younger than 45,” he questioned.

  4. The arsenal for fighting the virus surge remained the same, the center said – Covid-appropriate behavior and containment measures. “When the time comes to open it to all, then we will,” said Dr Paul.

  5. Dr Paul said opening up inoculations had to be seen from a scientific perspective. “We are lucky about our vaccine production pace, but we can’t trivialize it. So far no research has shown whether herd immunity develops at so and so pace … The answer is not yet sorted out. But we do know that all vaccines being given today reduce mortality and severe disease. That is the priority. “

  6. He referred to phased vaccination in countries like America, Australia and the UK. “UK had 9 different groups in its phases. Switzerland is vaccinating only those above 65,” Dr Paul said, adding, “When our history is written our deaths will be the most important count.”

  7. India started inoculations with frontline and health workers, and went on to people above 60 and those over 45 with other illnesses. In the latest round, all above 45 are being vaccinated. So far, over eight crore people have been vaccinated.

  8. A wave of infections over the past few weeks saw the biggest-ever daily surge of more than a lakh yesterday. In the past 24 hours, the number of new cases touched 96,982 with 446 deaths.

  9. The Indian Medical Associationm besides calling for walk-in vaccinations, urged the government to include private sector family clinics in the drive.

  10. “Vaccination stands as a single evidence-based resource for us to restrict the cases by raising the personal immune response and pave the way for herd immunity to decrease the severity of the disease,” the IMA said in its letter.

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