In a few weeks, people will be able to choose between three or four coronavirus variations of the vaccine, with the country extending the immunisation drive and enabling beneficiaries to choose their vaccination centres from Monday. These statements are according to the chief of Delhi’s prime, All India Institutes of Medical Sciences.
With reports on the rise in six states, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria said India is required to urgently massively increase vaccination. “If we can vaccinate a large number of people, we will not only be able to bring down the cases but in those who are most susceptible, bring down the hospitalization and death rate,” Dr. Guleria said.
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“In a few weeks from now, we may have three or four variances of the vaccine. You can’t have all of them available in one centre. One centre will be giving only one vaccine. But it is likely that in your area you may have more than one vaccine provided in different private hospitals and therefore it may indirectly give you some choice because you would know which vaccine is being given at which centre. But you can’t go to a site and ask for one vaccine or the other,” Dr Randeep Guleria told on Saturday.
“If we look at the number of people we have vaccinated, it’s large but if we look at it on a percentage basis, it’s very low because of the population of our country and therefore we have to look at a strategy where we can increase it exponentially. I think that is what is going to happen if we open it up to the private sector,” he further said.
“When we started testing, it was first only done in government facilities but with increasing need, the government capped the price and allowed private labs in testing. Similarly, the vaccine is being rolled out. It is being made sure that it is done judiciously. Those who really need to be vaccinated, are vaccinated. The cost has been capped so that it is affordable,” he added.
When the program extends Monday to include those over 60 and those over 45 with illnesses, the government revealed on Saturday that coronavirus vaccines will be limited to $250 per shot in private clinics and will be available in all public hospitals and facilities.
Due to a reluctance by health and front-line staff to take the country’s COVAXIN shot that was authorized without late-stage effectiveness results, the inoculation campaign that started on January 16 progressed slower than anticipated.
As per Reuters, only 11% of people who have been vaccinated have chosen the product produced by Bharat Biotech and the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research.