Dont fight to open vaccination for all
In mid of second wave, a few are arguing for opening COVID-19 vaccination for all adults. That will not be helpful, is digressing & can be damaging as well.
India is in second wave.
New & active Cases are rising & soon, May be on Tuesday, 6 April, country May report highest daily new cases. The focus has to be on immediate measures to tackle the wave.Test, Trace and Treat. That will be the key
COVID-19 vaccine are safe & effective.
However, person will be protected after completion of full schedule of 2 shots+ 2 weeks.
Therefore, benefit of vaccination for those who gets shot will come 6 to 10 weeks from now.
Remember gap of 4 -7 weeks in shots +2 weeks.
And since even currently eligible people will get first shot and then second shot, the benefit of COVID19 vaccines will be only after , let’s say June onwards.
Second wave needs to be tackled now and here.
Vaccines will help in averting or mitigating possible 3rd wave
Thus, focus in vaccination Should be getting High coverage w/eligible beneficiaries.
Opening to new age groups, May give false sense of coverage but those may not be the ones who need the vaccines most.
Let’s not shift goal post just because we are not doing well on numbers..
Opening to wider age group mean health workforce, needed for CoVID19 response as well as for continuity of non-COVID essential health services being diverted.
That will not be response to challenge at hand. We need vaccines, other services all alongside, in a balance.
COVID-19 vaccination, is important and desired but now, those will be more for averting or mitigating next wave.
As we are in midst of second wave, focus on what is needed to tackle this wave.
To tackle this wave:
1. Learn from one year of response.
2. Empower local authorities for decision.
3. Focus on tier 2 & 3 cities ; rural area
4. Expand & revive test, trade and treat
5. Community partnership for adoption of CAB, engage RWA, other associations
7. Do everything needed to avoid vicious cycle of lock & unlock including avoid weekend lockdowns
8. Hear critical voices & plan for the next six months
9. Tackle vaccine hesitancy.
10. Achieve high coverage for target beneficiaries and then open for more
While we fight the ongoing wave, we need to prepare for next wave, time ahead in July Sept, the flu season in India, when there cud be the next wave. more