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Covid-19: Vaccination Phase 2 to cover 60% of people | India News

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NEW DELHI: In the second phase of vaccination against Covid-19, the government plans to significantly expand operations to cover around 80 million people, 60% of the country’s population, in an exercise aimed at achieving herd immunity.
The first phase, which will cover health and frontline workers as well as “vulnerable” sections, is expected to start in January and end no later than July. The second phase, more ambitious in terms of targets, could begin even before the priority group has been fully covered, depending on the improved availability of vaccines.
The first phase could reduce mortality by 80-85% from the disease, official sources said. This is intended to cover those sectors of the population where the prevalence of comorbidities is highest. The age criterion for the second phase is likely to be 35 years or older, while there will be greater differentiation of vulnerable sections. In accordance with the framework being developed, categories such as teachers, drivers, and media staff will be considered.
“Vaccination has to be a strategic exercise, particularly in a country with a large population. So we decided to inoculate 30 million people first. This will cover the high risk population, ”an official told TOI. “In the second phase, we expect an increase in the availability of vaccines. As soon as that happens, we will be able to cover 60% of the population to achieve herd immunity by breaking the chain of transmission, “he added.
As applications are submitted from Covid vaccine manufacturers seeking approval for emergency use, the government’s planning for its national vaccination program has accelerated. In the first phase, 30 crore people will also include those from the police, the army, paramilitary and municipal bodies and people over 50 years of age. The government expects two vaccines by the end of January.

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