India may not vaccinate entire population, only need to break coronavirus transmission, says health ministry

Union Health Ministry has said that India may not need to vaccinate its entire population and only needs the vaccine to break the chain of transmission.

India recorded 31,118 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters)

Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that India does not need to vaccinate all of its 1.3 billion people if it manages to break the transmission of coronavirus.

“…If we are able to vaccinate a critical mass of people, and break that virus transmission, then we may not have to vaccinate the entire population,” Balram Bhargava, Director General of the state-run Indian Council Of Medical Research, said at the press briefing.

Moreover, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, said, “The government has never spoken about vaccinating the entire country”.

This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in October that the government was preparing to reach every single citizen as soon as a vaccine was ready.

India’s plan to roll out a coronavirus in the first few months of 2021 wouldn’t be impacted by an alleged adverse reaction during AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine trial, Bhushan said.

World Health Organization experts have pointed to a 65%-70% vaccine coverage rate as sufficient to reach population immunity, reported Reuters.

India recorded 31,118 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the lowest daily tally since November 17, data from the health ministry showed. The country’s total cases stands at 94,62,810 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a 40-year-old Indian man said in a complaint over the weekend that he had suffered serious “neurological and psychological” symptoms after receiving the vaccine in a trial being run by the British drugmaker’s partner, Serum Institute of India.

The incident is currently under investigation.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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