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‘Limited shots, loosening the eligibility criteria now will be dangerous’ | India News


NEW DELHI: India operates amid a devastating pandemic with limited vaccine supplies and the primary role of vaccination is to reduce deaths and hospitalizations, and opening vaccines to the general population will be a gamble with lives, says Dr. NK Arora, member of the National Committee for Adverse Events After Immunization (AEFI).
Current estimates show that until July-August, there will be enough vaccinations for Rs 40 crore people over the age of 45 in the country, accounting for about a third of the population.
“This means that every hit that is directed at a younger adult will be at the expense of an older adult who is at increased risk of serious illness and death. With limited resources, focusing on saving lives and reducing hospitalizations is absolutely essential. Mixing the vaccination targets right now could mean gambling with lives … we can’t afford infinite experimentation, and definitely not infinite mistakes, ”said Dr. Arora, who also leads the Operations Research Group at the Council. Indian Medical Research.
“If we immunize younger adults today, our main goal is to alleviate that age group from symptomatic infection, which is what current vaccines are known to do. But a large part of the population in that age group, fortunately, is already asymptomatic or shows mild symptoms when infected, “he said.
Arora refuted the argument that young people on the move can significantly spread the infection. “Prioritizing them for vaccination based on that assumption would mean risking another gamble, mainly because vaccines are not yet known to interrupt the chain of transmission,” he said.

Times of India