‘Indiscriminate vaccination can lead to rise of mutant strains’: Experts tell PM
A group of public health experts comprising doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Aiims) and members from Covid-19 special taskforce on Thursday said that indiscriminate vaccination could lead to the rise of mutant strains, according to a news report by news agency PTI.
The study also highlighted that there is no need to vaccinate those who had been infected by Covid-19 previously and said that the vaccination of such individuals can be done after generating evidence that the vaccine is beneficial after natural infection. It also said that vaccinating the young population, given the current scenario, will not be cost-effective. The experts also recommended that local level sero-surveys in real time at the end of the second wave should be conducted repeatedly to map the vulnerability at the district level.
The Indian Public Health Association (IPHA), Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM) and Indian Association of Epidemiologists (IAE) also submitted the findings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting the need of vaccinating the people who are vulnerable.
“Mass, indiscriminate, and incomplete vaccination can also trigger emergence of mutant strains. Given the rapid transmission of infection in various parts of the country, it is unlikely that mass vaccination of all adults will catch up with the pace of natural infection among our young population,” the study said.
“The present situation of the pandemic in the country demands that we should be guided by the logistics and epidemiological data to prioritise vaccination rather than opening vaccination for all age groups at this stage,” the study further added.
“Vaccine is a strong and powerful weapon against the novel coronavirus. And like all strong weapons it should neither be withheld nor used indiscriminately; but should be employed strategically to derive maximum benefit in a cost-effective way,” the report further added.
The recommendation also include addition of 17 more laboratories to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) and achieving the target of genomic sequencing of at 3% of the positive samples.
(with inputs from PTI)