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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightIndia to hit billion...

India to hit billion vaccine doses but majority of population still not covered

India to hit billion vaccine doses but majority of population still not covered

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a year-end target to vaccinate the adult population in India but the vaccine disparity between those who have been fully inoculated and those with just one shot stands at 31% according to Bloomberg's vaccination tracker. As India approaches the milestone of 1 billion vaccines, smaller outbreaks in pockets of areas with low vaccination become a growing concern, as does convincing people to get their second shot.

20% of the adult population is fully vaccinated, with 51% having received at least one dose reports show. However, particularly in rural areas, it is becoming difficult for government officials and healthcare workers to track and administer both shots of the vaccine. People in such areas are also reluctant to travel the long distances needed to get the shot, especially with the three-month gap between doses.

The Indian government has attempted to remedy this by making at least one dose of the vaccine compulsory for access to government welfare programmes which are widely used in rural areas.

40% of India's population is under-18, one of the youngest populations in the world. Since no vaccine has been deployed for those in this age range, there is an additional challenge posed for the government. One locally developed inoculation has been approved for children above 12 but that has not started yet. The country's drug regulator is also currently reviewing another shot for those as young as two.

The government hopes that natural immunity and protection of those vaccinated will hold until the younger population can also get immunised. More are expected to get vaccinated in the coming weeks as the three-month gap between doses ends.

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TAGS:Vaccination India covid19 Vaccine drive 
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