The Modi government on Tuesday made it clear that vaccination for all ages will not open anytime soon, stressing on the need to cover the most vulnerable groups amid a surge in Covid cases in India, which has a population of over 1.3 billion people
The Modi government on Tuesday made it clear that vaccination for all ages will not open anytime soon, stressing on the need to cover the most vulnerable groups amid a surge in Covid cases in India, which has a population of over 1.3 billion people.
This comes as chief ministers of affected states and union territories and the India Medical Association (IMA) sought wider inoculation.
"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 Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog said: "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."
"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," Dr. Paul added.
India started the vaccination drive in January with frontline and health workers and went on to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with other illnesses. In the latest round, all above 45 are being vaccinated.
So far, over 80 million people have been vaccinated against the virus while the country recorded 96,982 new Covid-19 cases between Monday and Tuesday mornings.
Daily cases even crossed over 100,000 while the death toll due to the deadly virus now stands at 1,65,547.
Meanwhile, Mumbai reported a record high cases at 10,030, the second-highest daily count so far, while 31 patients died due to the infection, the most in a day since October-end, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
The new cases took the cumulative tally in the financial capital to 4,72,332, while the death count jumped to 11,828, according to the city civic body data.
Delhi also logged 5,100 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, which is its biggest single-day Covid figure this year.
The national capital had reported 3,548 cases on Monday, 4,033 cases on Sunday, 3,567 cases on last Saturday and 3,594 cases on Friday.