Nearly 1.5 cr elderly above 60 yet to go for vaccination | India News

NEW DELHI: Around 1.5 crore elderly above 60 years of age are yet to initiate vaccination against Covid-19, health officials said urging individuals to come forward for vaccination and those eligible for the precaution dose to also receive the jab.
This assumes significance because even as Omicron is considered to cause mild Covid-19 infection in majority, experts have increasingly pointed out that elderly, especially those with co-morbidities and those who are unvaccinated are still at higher risk and also account for majority of hospitalisations.
Stressing that hospitalisation and death are higher among those who are unvaccinated, the government cited data from a study conducted in New York that shows that chances of getting infected is 78% lower among fully vaccinated, whereas full vaccination also lowers chances of hospitalisation between 90.2% -95.7% as compared to those unvaccinated.
“Vaccination is an important pillar in our Covid response programme,” NITI Aayog Member (Health) VK Paul said. “It is our appeal, whoever is eligible should take the vaccine and those aged over 60 years must take the precaution dose.”
He said that some senior citizens are yet to get their first dose of vaccine and are highly vulnerable to severe disease due to SARS-COV2.
“We estimate that of 13.75 crore (elderly) individuals, 12.25 crore got the first dose. We want those who have been left behind to get vaccinated. Their vulnerability is a concern for us,” Paul said.
Overall, India has administered a total of 154.61 crore doses till Wednesday 10pm. This includes 26.30 lakh precaution doses (booster) given to health and frontline workers, along with those above 60 years of age. Over 2.98 crore youngsters of 15-17 years age have also received the first dose of Covaxin. Among adults, 92% have received at least first dose of Covid-vaccines, whereas 68% are now fully vaccinated.
The government maintained that it is yet to analyse local data to ascertain the vaccination status of those dying from Covid-19 in the latest surge. “For people who take vaccines, their overall hospitalisation, death and (infection) severity reduces. We have not analysed that data from a clear detailed perspective nationally. These have been mostly done as sample study,” health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said.
Paul added that since cases have started increasing recently, the information is being collected and analysis will be done.

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