As India grapples with the second wave of coronavirus surpassing past records, the Indian Medical Association has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the government to include all age groups above 18 in the Covid vaccination drive.
Lauding the efforts of the government, the association at the same time expressed its concerns over the inability to curb the second wave due to the public’s noncompliance of Covid-19 appropriate behavior and rapid mutation of the virus.
Suggesting vaccine as the single evidence-based resource to restrict the virus, IMA in its letter stated, “At present, we are vaccinating the population above 45 years. In view of the rapid spread of the second wave of the disease, we suggest that our vaccination strategy needs to be geared up with immediate effect on a war footing. We request the following suggestions in the Covid Vaccination Drive. All citizens above 18 years of age shall be permitted to receive Covid vaccination.”
Indian Medical Association writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggests “gearing up of COVID19 vaccination drive with immediate effect and permit those above 18 years to receive vaccine”. pic.twitter.com/1mMpfC5e4y— ANI (@ANI) April 6, 2021
IMA submits 6-point proposal
Summarising the recommendations in 6 points, the IMA, apart from requesting for vaccination for all, mentioned:
- Covid vaccination should be available for all and free of cost
- Private sector family clinics, along with private hospitals should also be included actively in the vaccination drive along with private hospitals
- District level vaccine task force teams shall be constituted with the public, private participation, to enforce mass vaccination
- A vaccination certificate shall be made a mandatory certificate for entering into public places
The letter also proposed a limited period continuous lockdown of non-essential areas such as cinema, cultural and religious events, sports, etc.
Emphasizing on the need for a robust infrastructure, IMA added, “Zero tolerance against the non-compliance of Covid appropriate behaviours, augmentation of infrastructure beds and oxygen availability, moral support and enthusiastic engagements of frontline health workers, ensuring adequate health care protective gears support and strict adherence to the evidence-based treatment protocols are the key factors needed at this moment.”
More than 7.91 crore beneficiaries in India have been vaccinated for COVID-19 so far. On 04 April- 15,40,676 beneficiaries were given the first shot, while 97,788 people received their second doses as per the latest report released by the Union Health Ministry.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched a nationwide vaccination drive early this year on January 16, with healthcare workers at the frontline of India’s COVID-19 battle getting their first dose.