Amid Covid surge, Centre says vax to be offered on all days of April

NEW DELHI, APR 1 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 4/1/2021 12:50:04 PM IST

Centre on Thursday said that vaccination against coronavirus will be offered on all days in the month of April at both public and private sector vaccination centres. 

In a significant step to exponentially expand the nationwide vaccination drive, the Centre has written to all states and union territories and asked them to make necessary arrangements to provide vaccination on all days including gazetted holidays during April.

“This step has been taken after detailed deliberations with the states and UTs on March 31, 2021 to optimally utilise all Covid vaccination centres across the public and private sectors to ensure rapid increase in the pace and coverage,” the government said in a release.

The government had earlier decided to start vaccination of all people above 45 years of age from April 1, 2021 based on the recommendation of National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration (NEGVAC).

Second wave puts children, younger adults at high risk: experts
The second surge of COVID-19 puts children and younger adults at high risk with the situation being very grim especially in rural areas which were spared in the first wave, warn experts, reports The Hindu.
“Children and young adults are mostly uninfected so far and therefore are at high risk of contracting the infection. The schools and colleges are functioning in most States resulting in a higher risk of transmission in closed settings. Young adults have resumed working from the office and are again at higher risk in closed spaces,” explained Giridhar R. Babu, Head of Life Course, Epidemiology, Public Health Foundation of India. 
He said there are multiple super spreader events happening in schools, colleges, offices, public transport (metros).
“There is no doubt that many States are surging and as a result, the country is witnessing a rise in cases amounting to the ascending phase of a second wave. 
Based on some of the results of modelling done by experts at the COVID-19 study group, the peak of this wave seems to be around May 2021. If the rise in cases continues as steeply as they are now, there will be a strain on the health system,” he said.
“We need to ensure that vaccine coverage of vulnerable persons is done in the next two months. It will reduce overall mortality. At the same time, containment measures and strict compliance of COVID appropriate behaviour should be ensured all over,’’ he said.
Stating that rural and tribal areas are facing a grim situation now, Ravi Wankhedkar, member, Indian Medical Association (IMA), said malnutrition leading to decreased immunity, inappropriate COVID behaviour (gathering at marriages, funerals, religious functions) and lack of proper in-house quarantine facilities have increased the incidence of infection. In urban areas, higher socio-economic strata are more affected, he said.

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