New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Experts from the Indian Public Health Association (IPHA), Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM), and Indian Association of Epidemiologists (IAE) have said that mass, incomplete and indiscriminate vaccination can trigger emergences of mutant strains of COVID-19. They have suggested that there is no need to inculcate those who have already contracted the virus in the past.

In their latest report, the experts from AIIMS as well as the national task force on COVID-19 have said that vaccinating the vulnerable and those at risk instead of the mass population including children should be the main target of the government at present.

"The present situation of the pandemic in the country demands that we should be guided by the logistics and epidemiological data to prioritize vaccination rather than opening vaccination for all age groups at this stage,” the report said that has been submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The experts in the report have further said that unplanned vaccination can promote mutant strains. “Given the rapid transmission of infection in various parts of the country” it is not sure that the mass vaccination of all the adults will catch up with the pace of the natural infection in the young adults.

Therefore, the experts have recommended that people who have documented the COVID-19 infection need not be vaccinated at present. This can be done once there is evidence that the vaccine is beneficial after the natural infection.

The report also suggests that evidence-based flexibility in vaccine schedules should be considered for places where a surge of COVID-19 for specific variants is seen. For example, the interval of the second dose of the Covishiled vaccine should be reduced in areas where a spike is seen in the delta variant.

The report points out that while it is important to vaccinate all adults, the vaccine which acts as a powerful weapon against Corona should not be used indiscriminately leading to negative results. Instead, the COVID vaccines should be employed strategically to derive maximum benefit in a cost-effective manner.

Repeated local level serosurveys in real-time at the end of the second wave are suggested to map vulnerability at the district level and plan vaccination strategy accordingly. Further vaccination status of all individuals tested for COVID-19 is recommended to be collected through the RTPCR app whose data can be used to analyze the severity of the virus.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha