Widening the net
A health worker administering a COVID-19 jab in Jammu. File: Mir Imran/ GK

Widening the net

It is the opportune moment to speed up vaccination process, and cover as many people as can be

The announcement by the PM about free vaccination for 18 plus age group can hugely contribute to combating the presumed 3rd wave. As the intensity of the current wave is diminishing, people are scared as the experts have been consistently warning about the dangers of another wave of this pandemic. What worries people more is that the 3rd wave has the potential of impacting children more than the earlier waves. The way devastation fell in the second wave, people are still reeling under shock. We have even now thousands of positive cases in many of the Indian states every day. The number of deaths though has come down, but it is still large a number. Keeping in view what has happened till now, and where the systems have failed, vaccination is the only way to protect the populations. If there is some relative relief after having lost thousands to this deadly pandemic, we need to make the most of this relatively relaxed time. This is the opportune moment to speed up the vaccination process, and cover as many people as can be. The already rolled out programme should make deeper penetration into the population by making it a door to door campaign, and giving people no excuse to remain un-vaccinated. Secondly, the plus 18 age group needs to be targeted as effectively as it can be. We have seen how in some countries vaccination has made a significant difference. Spain announced opening up more public spaces for all those who are vaccinated. Earlier the US opened up spaces similarly for those vaccinated. Leaving aside the disturbing information about vaccines that so often surfaces up globally, there is a consensus on the efficacy of vaccines. So the concerned departments need to fight the war on misinformation along with the attempts to give jabs to as many people as it can, and as soon as possible. If the battle against fake and problematic information is fought effectively, it can clear the way towards final triumph in the war against this pandemic. And it can be won by widening the net of vaccination.

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