Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday sought a free Covid-19 vaccine for all which is expected to become available by the end of this year.
"Everyone should get Covid-19 vaccine free of cost," said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan. "Mass vaccination would serve to help grow the immunity levels of the entire population. When the entire population gets vaccinated, the virus cannot find any host to survive, replicate and move on," he said.
"That is how pandemic would subside and even become eradicated," he added. "We have seen how mass vaccination has eradicated diseases like small-pox and polio."
DAK President said the vaccine would be the single best defense against Covid-19 that would save lives and prevent disease transmission. "If enough people are vaccinated, the chain of infection can be broken within the population," he said. "And, if you leave a large number of the population unvaccinated, pandemic will linger on."
Dr Nisar said ensuring that everyone gets the vaccine would also require a big push for effective communication. "We need to communicate to people about the importance of the vaccine and dispel miscommunication, conspiracies and anti vaccination distortions," he said, in a statement. "In order to increase the vaccine coverage, the government needs to adopt mandatory policies."
He said there are several Covid-19 vaccines that have finished clinical trial trials with promising results. "Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been found to be more than 90 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 infection raising hopes of a potential end to the nearly year-long pandemic.
The vaccines which are based on a novel technology that uses the synthetic messenger RNA to activate the immune system against the virus are expected to become available for public use next month," said Dr Nisar.