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Health experts, including doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences and members of coronavirus National Task Force have conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that mass, indiscriminate and incomplete vaccination could trigger emergence of mutant strains.
Experts from Indian Public Health Association, Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine and Indian Association of Epidemiologists in their latest report submitted to PM Modi suggested that vaccinating those vulnerable and at risk should be aim at present, instead of inoculating mass population including children.
The experts said: "The present situation of the pandemic in the country demands that we should be guided by the logistics and epidemiological data to prioritise vaccination rather than opening vaccination for all age groups at this stage. Opening all fronts simultaneously will drain human and other resources and would be spreading it too thin to make an impact at the population level."
The experts added vaccinating young adults and children was not supported by evidence and would not be cost effective. The report said: "Given the rapid transmission of infection in various parts of the country, it is unlikely that mass vaccination of all adults will catch up with the pace of natural infection among our young population."
The experts also recommended that it wasn't necessary to vaccinate people who had been diagnosed with coronavirus infection. They said: "These people may be vaccinated after generating evidence that vaccine is beneficial after natural infection." They added: "Vaccine is a strong and powerful weapon against the novel coronavirus. And like all strong weapons it should neither be withheld nor used indiscriminately; but should be employed strategically to derive maximum benefit in a cost-effective way."
The report stated that the devastating 2nd COVID wave in India was due to the multiple variants of the virus. It stated that B.1.617.2 variant, along with strains first found in United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, are seen as more dangerous than the original version because they are more transmissible.