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India needs to vaccinate 70% population to reduce COVID-19 transmission, says top expert

Gagandeep Kang said although the Centre has planned to vaccinate 30 crore Indians against the COVID-19, it will be in 2022, that two-third of the population will get vaccinated

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | December 30, 2020 | Updated 14:44 IST
India needs to vaccinate 70% population to reduce COVID-19 transmission, says top expert
Britain on Wednesday approved usage of Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for public use

India will have to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the population to decrease the transmission of coronavirus, Gagandeep Kang, professor of Microbiology at the Christian Medical College said on Wednesday.

Kang said although the Centre has planned to vaccinate 30 crore Indians against the COVID-19, it will be in 2022, that two-third of the population will get vaccinated.

Kang advised the government to rely more on indigenous vaccine makers as the supply for the entire population would not be available immediately.

"The supplies will be slow initially but will begin to ramp up in two-three months. Given the size of our population, I think in a reasonably optimistic scenario, it will take until the end of 2021, the beginning of 2022, for people who are not prioritised to get the vaccines," The Times of India quoted Kang as saying.

On logistical challenges, Kang said vaccinating vulnerable and remote populations, particularly outside cities, will be a challenge.

"We know already from childhood immunisation that the poorest, furthest way and most vulnerable in our unequal society are the least likely to be vaccinated - we need to be building targeted communication strategies for those communities now," she added.

Meanwhile, a two-day mock drill of the administration and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine concluded in four Indian states--Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Gujarat.

The mock drill exercise involved the creation of facilities and users on Co-WIN application, session site creation and mapping of sites, health care workers' data upload, receipt of vaccines and vaccine allocation, session planning, deployment of vaccination teams, and logistics mobilisation at session sites.

Meanwhile, Britain on Wednesday approved usage of Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for public use.

In India, the Serum Institute of India is manufacturing Oxford's vaccine and has sought approval from the drug regulators for emergency use.

Serum has already produced around 50 million dosages of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' and plans to scale it up to 100 million by March next year.

Also read: Serum Institute's application for emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine to be considered today

Also read: Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine approved in UK; nod in India expected soon

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