19 Mar Need of Vaccination for all age Group after due process : An Analysis
Context: We have been facing the problem of covid for almost two years. During these days we had to go for lockdown three times. During Lockdowns, our economy had to suffer a lot. Many businesses have collapsed and thousands of people have been fired from their services. In such a horrific condition of the economy , the Government of India must try and vaccinate all age groups, but these vaccinations should not proceed in a hurry . The vaccination process for all age group must be started after due process
From 16th March the government had announced COVID-19 immunization programme for children between 12 and 14 years with Corbevax, a protein subunit vaccine. This step of the government however is appreciable but this step of the government has been taken without the approval of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI). Never before has the expert body been completely sidestepped to clear a vaccine for the immunization.
Generally it is considered that protein vaccines are safe for all age groups but just on the basis of this consideration , the beginning of the vaccination should not be started for the age group of 12 to 14 years . Suppose , if any time , adverse effects are found during the vaccination drive .
However this concern has been raised many times but during the third wave , the government decided to launch the vaccine drive for school going children without any proper data.
There are several concerns which should be addressed before the beginning of immunization drive for 1 2 to 18 years children
- Proper data and study of the vaccine must be necessary. The concerns related to the proximity of the data has been raised during the use of Covexin which has been used for immunizing adults and adolescents between 15 and 18 years and whose safety profile is now known, has been excluded for children in the 12-14 age group.
- Because of the lack of data available for the Covexine, we have seen the adverse result during the second wave of the corona. And the vaccination drive has been started by mid Jan0 Feb. 2021 . We should learn lesson from our mistakes . However when data on safety, immunogenicity and efficacy have not been made available even as preprint (it is not peer reviewed), is inexplicable in the current situation, which can no longer be described as an emergency
- However national seroprevalence surveys are also important before the beginning of any immunization . But This survey was also done just after the deadly second corona wave was at its peak . Therefore approximately 67.6 % of the population above 10 years had antibodies against the virus. . the infected children during the third wave of 12- 14 year group by omicron variant may be of high percentage. Government should analyze according before beginning of any immunization
As per the above discussion, the starting of the vaccination drive for the children of the group from 12 to 18 years is the good steps of the government But It should be started after proper recommendation and proper testing. We should not be relaxed for further waves of the coronavirus . For the next wave, we can not now shut down the markets and economic activities of the country otherwise it would not only be an economic disaster but also be the symbol of folly for us.
Source : The Hindu (Editorial)
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