vaccination must proceed in a prioritised manner

The mega-vaccination drive for the people above 18 plus has begun in many states, including Madhya Pradesh, in the country. On the very first day, several glitches forced the health workers on the field to distribute tokens, even several beneficiaries with prior booking were only allowed at the centres. Aa per the rules explained by health department officials on the field, only 100 people were to be vaccinated on the first day, per site. However, at one of the centres in Bhopal, a crowd of more than 1000 reachef on the first day. It created an atmosphere of chaos.
Vaccination must proceed in a prioritised manner . As we have argued, younger wage-earners, specially the urban poor in districts where the infection is clustered must be vaccinated first. Restriction for movement across communicates should be eased for those who are vaccinated, and as more and more people get vaccinated, mobility and economic activities will improve.
In the current plan, the government began with vaccinating the older population first , beginning with those who were 60 years and older, followed by those  who were 45 and older , and finally the population that is 18 years and older. Understandably, this rollout plan assumes that he older population is more vulnerable to the viru and thus,
must be protected. However, it ignores an important epidemiology consideration that the younger population that is more mobile is also more likely to spread the virus.
As per the reports of the health ministry, individuals inthe age group 30-35 years account for nearly 40 per cent of cases but only 17 per cent of deaths registered in the second wave while individuals over 50 years account over 80 psr cent of deaths registered  in the second wave. Infections in the former age group are the largely asymptomatic and growing exponentially in recent weeks, leading to a very large number of cases and deaths that disproportionately affect  the older, more vulnerable population.  Therefore, we should  be vaccinating the young and the mobile population first.

- Prabhakar Purandare

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