No vaccination for all, say union health officials a day after Maharashtra CM’s 25+ request | Mumbai News - Times of India

No vaccination for all, say union health officials a day after Maharashtra CM’s 25+ request | Mumbai News – Times of India

Mumbai

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: A day after Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow everyone above 25 years to get vaccinated, union health officials made it clear that the drive will not be opened for all. Thackeray had said inoculating a larger number of young and working population could reduce the intensity of the spread.
The Centre said on Tuesday the vaccination policy was based on scientific principles and was intended to secure vulnerable population first keeping in mind vaccine supplies, and is no different from the approaches adopted by developed countries such as the US, the UK and Australia. Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the objective of vaccination was to inoculate “those who needed and not those who wanted it”.
Bhushan said in the current phase of vaccinations till July, vaccines will be in limited supply and this meant that priorities had to be drawn up to protect those most vulnerable. “The primary objective is to reduce deaths and protect the healthcare system involved in combating the pandemic,” he said.
Pointing out that India has lowered the vaccination age to 45, officials cited data to show several western countries with advanced facilities have not opened vaccination to all beyond age 50. While the UK has prioritised those between 16-64 years, it is only for those with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers for the elderly and the disabled. Similarly, Australia has opened it for adults but with underlying disability or medical conditions, Bhushan said.
Bhushan further said the US was targeting people in the 65-75 years bracket till mid-April. Sweden and Switzerland, which have among the most advanced healthcare, are still only targeting the 65-plus groups and in Australia it is the 70-plus and the aboriginals.
Public health minister Rajesh Tope, though, once again discussed the idea of vaccinating people above 25 years with union health minister Harsh Vardhan. “Most infected patients are from the age group of 25-40 years in the state and even the country,” said Tope. The state Covid taskforce, too, has demanded that an exception should be made for Maharashtra that is currently the worst affected in the country, reporting an average of 50,000 new cases everyday.

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