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Vaccine equity a challenge to ensure immunisation for all

Inoculation is emerging as the only way to curb the raging virus, but erratic supplies may hit drive, say residents

Vaccine equity a challenge to ensure immunisation for all

Vaccination is emerging out as the only way to win the war against the pandemic. But, the shortage of vaccine stocks with the states is a cause for concern. tribune photo

DO YOU THINK THE GOVT WILL BE ABLE TO MEET THE VACCINE REQUIREMENT?

Teachers, workers should be prioritised

Firstly, persons with comorbidities should prefer above all for vaccination. Data should be collected for this group of people and for faster implementation diabetologists, cardiologists and physicians should be roped in. These patients should also be contacted if they have any doubts or hesitation regarding the vaccine. Secondly, people whose job professions are such that they come in contact with a lot of people or are in jobs that include public dealing such as school teachers, bankers, bus drivers/conductors, marketing officials, vegetable/wholesale vendors, workers, delivery persons and mechanics etc. should be preferred in this line. Also, there is a need to make people aware of the importance of getting the jab and remove their hesitation.

Gagan Arora


Overpopulation a big challenge

It may not be possible to get the jab for all since we already lack in the required resources and infrastructure, considering the size of our population. The government didn’t ready a plan before launching the drive at mass level to fight the pandemic. Leaders had been more concerned in winning elections than thinking about the safety of people amid the pandemic. In fact overpopulation is the root cause of all problems that we are facing such as poverty, poor living standards, deteriorating health system and so on. Age doesn’t determine a person’s health. It the mental and physical state of a person’s which matters and makes one strong enough to beat all odds and challenges thrown to him in life. People who are more engaged in sedentary activities and lifestyle are more prone to catch infections owing to reduced immunity due to less physical activity. Persons who are more vulnerable should be prioritised for getting the jab as they need it before the healthy ones.

Lt Col GS Bhullar


Vaccination drive will be a success

Vaccination is emerging out as the only way to win the war against the Covid pandemic. But, the recent emerging news of shortage of vaccine stocks with the states is a cause for concern. According to some news reports, though one may still contract the virus even after getting the jab, the disease would not be that severe and one would easily recover as the infection would be mild, which might not be the case otherwise. When the shot was being administered to a restricted group of people, a large number of people demanded that it should be offered to all age groups above 18 and now that the government has given its nod to the same, people should get them inoculated and help end the menace of Covid pandemic as soon as possible. To ensure that the drive goes on smoothly, even the US President had recently promised to provide the nation with the raw material to help ease shortage of vaccine stocks. Similarly many other nations have offered their help in curbing the raging pandemic in the nation and end the menace. The daily number of Covid-19 patients is increasing and the vaccination drive has also been accelerated, the main reason is to curb the menace of Covid-19. The rates of the vaccine should be the same and one throughout India without any discrimination. In order to cover more population, mobile centres should be set up, social organisations should be roped in, regular monitoring of the vaccinated persons and awareness drives among the beneficiaries are a must. In my opinion, the state will certainly be able to meet the requirement of vaccine and the vaccination drive will be a success.

Rajat Kumar Mohindru


Centre, states must work in tandem

The pandemic has shaken the world all around. Social and economic order has been adversely paralysed. Obviously under the ongoing scenario, foremost priority is to save human lives for which all out efforts are being made. Recent resurgence of new cases and high number of fatalities is said to be fallout of this laxity. As the wave still goes unabated, the Centre has now decided to vaccinate everybody above 18 years with effect from May 1. The challenge is stupendous amid the present shortage of vaccine and big population. Obviously, in order to ensure adequate availability of medicinal vials to cater to the huge requirements, the government will have to extend all financial as well as infrastructural support to the indigenous manufactures to increase production besides importing the medicine from other countries. It is a matter of relief that the US after initial hiccups had consented to waive sanctions and provide us with raw material to manufacture vaccine. Currently, the situation demands both the Centre and states to work in tandem to lead the campaign.

Nirmaljit Singh Chatrath


Biased Union Govt must act responsibly

The Tribune has rightly raised the issue of vaccinating people above 18 years when the stocks are already in short supply, more so in Congress-ruled states. It is very unfortunate that the Centre is discriminating about vaccines even when the number of cases is rising at an alarming rate. The state government has been repeatedly flagging the shortage of vaccine stocks. Owing to this scenario, how will the drive commence in the state for a wider range of beneficiaries from May 1? Even oxygen supply is running short which is required in serious patients and causing record-high fatalities in the state. There is inequity in the supply of vaccine and oxygen in the nation. The Centre needs to act responsibly and manage the chaos that the raging pandemic is causing. It is monumental failure on the part of the Modi government that they could not anticipate the second wave of the pandemic when many countries in Europe and other countries were already facing it. Modi and Shah were busy in elections in five states rather than paying attention to the pandemic. The results are before us as the health system has nearly collapsed, people are gasping for oxygen and hospitals and doctors are helpless. It is shameful that many countries have banned flights from India. The Centre is duty bound to raise the number and amount of oxygen and vaccines to save young lives. In the second wave, more people between 30 to 40 years of age are losing battle to the virus. Irony of the situation is that the Union Health Minister blamed the Punjab Government and other Congress-ruled states, when the BJP-ruled states were a total failure in controlling the spread of Covid infections.

Dr JS Wadhwa


Active participation of citizens required

Apropos sudden and recent spike in the Covid-19 cases has nevertheless espoused one of an untoward kind of crisis probably ever since the dawn of the 21st century. Vaccination programmes for one of the most vulnerable section of the society comprising of citizens from the age group of 18 to 45 years is no doubt a commendable step in the right direction with the government taking a giant leap in the so-called one of the largest vaccination programmes in the world. But, at the same time, it requires active participation of the citizens to make it a success. However, other factors that will determine the success of the drive include government agencies who are decisive partners in the entire process, the US providing vaccine raw material to ease stock shortage, menace of population outburst, constraints on supply of oxygen, black-marketing of Remdesivir injections besides, various other reasons. With the discovery of the third mutant of Covid variant in India recently, the situation must be tackled with a firm hand. It all together calls for an adoption of a benevolent ‘SMS’ (sanitation, mask and social distancing) plan advocated on a pan India basis with a realisation of the solemn belief that together we can and we will make a difference in combating the virus.

Sameer Bhatia


Difficult to meet growing demand

As the nation is caught in the throes of a more devastating second Covid wave, adopting Covid-appropriate behaviour and judicious and speedy pace of vaccinating maximum number of people to achieve herd immunity is the last resort to defeat the deadly pandemic. But, the country is facing an acute shortage of the life-saving vaccine. Perhaps capitalising on ex-PM Dr Manmohan Singh’s sane advice, the specific liberalised shift in Centre’s inoculation policy covering everyone over 18 years from May 1 onwards is a welcome measure. Though belated, the government has also sanctioned advance funds of Rs4,500 crore to Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech to scale up vaccine manufacturing capacity, and has sought raw material and healthcare assistance from the international community. But, differential pricing of indigenous vaccines for the Centre, states and private hospitals, mandatory registration on CoWIN portal and pre-booking of pharmaceutical firms till May 15 are some glitches that might create vaccine hesitancy, hamper the expensive new strategy and lead to brazen profiteering. Chronically reeling under severe economic crunch, Punjab may find it difficult to meet the growing demand for the requisite anti-Covid vaccines. In this hour of unprecedented health crisis, parties should not indulge in any blame game for political mileage. The incumbent central BJP dispensation should help the state financially and regulate the supply of essential medical facilities without any political prejudice and bias. The state government should re-adjust its priorities and even stretch its resources to speed up vaccine purchase. The general public should fully cooperate with the Punjab Government’s ongoing efforts to salvage the prevailing precarious situation.

DS Kang


Expect chaos at vaccination centres

Vaccination for all above the age of 18 is a step in the right direction and the government must ensure effective implementation of the plan. Proper arrangements should be made for the public as there is a possibility that people in large numbers would flock vaccination centres to get inoculated at the earliest and cause chaos. It will be difficult for the authorities to manage the crowd if they don’t chalk out a plan for the same. No doubt that the government had issued guidelines that walk-in vaccination won’t be allowed and prior registration on CoWIN app is a must to get the shot. But, erratic supplies of doses will affect the drive.

Shashi Kiran


Ensure enough doses for all

After having successfully launched first and second phase of vaccination drive, the Centre decided to vaccinate all those falling under the category of 18-45 age group with effect from May 1. The decision is laudable and one hopes that it will run smoothly as some apprehensions regarding supply of vaccines and its pricing as expressed by some quarters needs to be addressed satisfactorily. Regarding availability of stocks, the Centre had assured the state government of sufficient supply as per schedule but the issue of its pricing is yet to be resolved. The Centre should come out with policy of uniform and reasonable rates across the country for achieving the inoculation targets in a shortest possible time without any delay. Presently, the nation is facing unprecedented medical emergency and the people are suffering immensely through losing their precious lives and livelihood on unimaginable scale. All persons of designated age groups must get themselves vaccinated without any delay and get the registration done in order to reduce the burden over government machinery fighting the deadly virus. All apprehensions and fears generated about the efficacy and side effects of vaccination have been cleared as no such serious case had been reported from any part of the country so far.

Jagdish Chander

QUESTION

With shortage of ICU beds in hospitals, Covid drugs and oxygen, how can the administration deal with the increasing coronavirus cases in the district?

Suggestions in not more than 200 words can be sent to jalandhardesk@tribunemail.com by Thursday (May 6).

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