Covid: Centre says it may not vaccinate whole country

Rajesh Bhushan

Chennai: Even as speculation is rife regarding the availability of a Covid-vaccine in the country, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has stated that the government is not considering the option of vaccinating the whole population.

“I just want to make this clear that the government has never spoken about vaccinating the entire country. It’s important that we discuss such scientific issues, based on factual information only and then analyse it”, he said, at a press briefing on Tuesday.

ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava also said that it may not be necessary for the same.

He said the purpose of the Covid vaccine drive would be to break the chain of viral transmission.

“Our purpose is to break the chain of virus transmission. If we are able to vaccinate a critical mass of people and break the chain of transmission, then we may not have to vaccinate the entire population,” he said.

“The role of masks is also vitally important and that will continue even after the vaccination. Because we are starting with a small group of population at a time and therefore masks will be protective and continue to be used so as to help in breaking the chain of viral transmission,” Bhargava said.

The ICMR chief also said that the efficacy of the vaccine was an important factor to consider. ‘There is a range’, he said. “For someone it may be 60 per cent effective, for someone else it may be 70 per cent effective. So efficacy is one issue”.

 

NT Bureau