September 22, 2021

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

Covid: Low 60+ vaccination tally in some states a worry

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Covid: Low 60+ vaccination tally in some states a worry
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Covid: Low 60+ vaccination tally in some states a worry
Covid: Low 60+ vaccination tally in some states a worry

NEW DELHI: Even as the pace of Covid vaccination has increased significantly, low coverage among elderly above 60 years of age – who are most vulnerable to the SARS-CoV2 infection – in certain states have raised concerns amid looming fear of a third wave.
States like Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal with considerably large population of 60 plus years have significantly low coverage of Covid vaccination doses per 1,000 population in this age category, according to ORF‘s Covid vaccine tracker.
ORF has analysed Covid vaccination data till August 27.
The national average of doses administered per 1,000 people aged 60 years and above was estimated at 947.13.
However, Tamil Nadu gave 523.05 doses, UP administered 651.12, and West Bengal 853.48, according to the ORF tracker. All these three states have more than one crore elderly population in this age bracket.
Maharashtra which too has 1.45 crore population aged above 60 years, administered 951.12 doses per 1,000 to such people, slightly higher than the national average.
“The next wave is likely to be limited to states where overall seroprevalence, both infection as well as vaccine induced, is low. However, if the vaccine coverage of elderly population is still low, there is a huge risk of the human tragedy repeating in terms of deaths and suffering,” says Oommen C Kurian, senior fellow, health initiative at ORF.
States like Tamil Nadu and Punjab which have high proportion of elderly and low vaccination coverage may bear the brunt of the next wave, unless vaccine coverage of the elderly is accelerated, he added.
According to ORF’s assessment, 61.6% of 60 plus population has received at least one dose and 31.4% has got both till August 27.
With the Centre pushing states to accelerate coverage in this category and ensure they are immunised with two doses, there has been significant rise in overall vaccination recently, with states like UP and Bihar ramping up overall coverage. However, since most of the rise is in first doses, it is not clear whether the coverage has improved among elderly.
Overall, more than 66.15 crore doses were administered across the country till Wednesday 9pm.
Smaller states and UTs like Sikkim, Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Chandigarh and Andaman & Nicobar have wider coverage of doses of Covid vaccine per 1,000 population of 60 years and above.
Full vaccination of the elderly population also assumes significance because the burden of co-morbidities is also high in this segment, making them increasingly vulnerable to not only infection but also death.
While vaccines may not adequately protect against infection, vaccination – especially full immunisation with two doses – has proven effective to reduce severe disease and death due to Covid-19.

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