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The 3rd Wave, if at all hits anytime in near future, it will be insignificant compared to 2nd wave: Experts at a Panel Discussion

  • Vaccine Hesitancy is the lowest in India compared to France, The USA and Switzerland
  • Vaccines are Safe. There is no need to make Vaccines mandatory. Instead, incentivisation helps
  • By the end of this year, 80% of the 94 crore Indian Adult Population will be administered vaccines
  • 60 out of total 208 countries in the world have administered vaccination to less than 1% of its population, Mr Deepak Sapra, CEO (API & Services), Dr Reddy Laboratories

Hyderabad, Telangana: The 3rd Wave if at all hits, or if hits in the next few months it will not be as fatal as the 2nd Wave was. This is because of rapid vaccination in the country. Almost 40 per cent of the adult population are vaccinated by now. 

And almost 80 lakh doses a day are given now. And if this continues, we will vaccinate 94 crore adult population in the next 100 odd days. This means 80per cent of the Indian adult population would have vaccinated one or two doses. This will augur well for the nation. So the third wave if at all hits any time in the near future it will not be as fatal as the 2nd wave was. 

Vaccination Hesitancy is the lowest in India compared to France, The USA, Switzerland and other developed nations. Making vaccination mandatory, a move proposed/debated to fight hesitancy will not work. 

Instead, incentivizing helped many countries, especially the US achieve 65% vaccination.  

Vaccine Hesitancy is a myth and it doesn’t exist.  

Vaccines are safe. It is everyone’s responsibility to see that every other person is vaccinated in this country. It is self-help through mutual cooperation. Everybody has to be a vaccine warrior, a vaccine ambassador. 

No one is safe until everyone is safe. Getting vaccinated is patriotic. 

Only widespread adoption of vaccines will allow a return to the old normal. Vaccination is only the bounce-back plan. These are the few observations made by the panellists at the panel discussion “COVID Vaccine in India and World” with a focus on “FIGHTING VACCINE HESITANCY WHERE WE STAND AND WHAT WE NEED TO DO” organized by Hitex as run-up to A PUBLIC HEALTH INNOVATIONS CONCLAVE–PHIC Expo 2021 to be held in November. 

PHIC Expo 2021 is a public health innovations conclave. 

The 3-day event, a first of its kind exclusively on Public Health in India will be held at Hitex from 12th to 14th November. It is going to be organized in partnership with so many organizations such as the Infection Control Academy of India and others.  

The Panel discussion hall was sanitized with AIRON 100, a negative ion generator that eliminates 99.9% of airborne diseases, bacteria, fungal infections and virus transmission. Trivector, another airborne disinfection player, is also partnering with the event. 

The Panel Discussion was moderated by Dr Ranga Reddy Burri, President, Infection Control Academy of India. The panellists were drawn from diverse backgrounds. They had some way or the other connection in handling vaccines, manufacturing, research, treating corona patients and hesitancy etc.  

The panellists included  Mr Deepak Sapra, CEO (API & Services), Dr Reddy Laboratories; Mr Dr M. Vidya Sagar, Fellow of the Royal Society, SERB National Science Chair & Professor, IIT-Hyderabad; Mr GVS Murthy, Director, Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyd; Dr M.S.S. Mukherjee, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Medicover. 

Japanese people in South Asia routinely wear masks. Jain munis wear masks to prevent transmission and getting transmitted organs floating in the air. It is normal for them. Thanks to masks there is a decline in auto respiratory infections and TB cases. Should we not continue adapting to the new situation, asked Mr GVS Murthy, Director, Indian Institute of Public Health. Vaccines are doing a lot of good in preventing mortality and serious events of hospitalization and saving on hospital costs, he said. Had there been a vaccine, SP Balasubrahmanyam would have been amongst us entertaining with melodious songs, he added.

He suggested that Social Distance is not the right expression instead it has to be physical distance.  

60% of adults in this country are administered at least one dose. The USA has more vaccine hesitancy than India. They have vaccinated 70% of their population at least one dose. And it will be difficult for them now onwards to substantially increase the number, said Dr M. Vidya Sagar, Fellow of the Royal Society, SERB National Science Chair & Professor, IIT-Hyderabad. There are 94 crore adults in the 140 crore population in India. And we have reached a half mark in terms of vaccinating this adult population. We have been administering 75 lakh to 80 lakh dosages every day and at this speed, we need another 100 days to vaccinate 80% of the Indian adult population. By the end of this year we will achieve this, he said. And he added that this can prevent 3rd wave. Even if it comes, it will be a lot less fatal. The cases may not be more than 70,000 per day if we are hit with the 3rd wave with the kind of vaccination we have achieved, he added.  

Even if we hit a new variant that is 50% more virulent than the Delta, we will still end up with not more than 1,40,000 maximum cases a day in the peak of the 3rd wave he shared.  

Mr Deepak Sapra, CEO (API & Services), Dr Reddy Laboratories, said to be the man behind Sputnik being manufactured in India said 5.7 billion doses of vaccines are administered in the world so far. 2.2 billion are administered in China, 0,75 bn in India and 0.38 in the USA so far. On average 33mn i.e 3.3 core doses are administered every day across the globe. 40 or 41% of the world population is administered at least one dose of the vaccine. 

UAE coved 90% of its population, Qatar, Portugal and Spain 85 to 90%, UK 70%, USA 65% and India 40%.  

But the situation in third world countries is very bad. Only 1.9% of the population of Nigeria is administered vaccination, Tanzania just 0.5%. 60 out of a total of 208 countries in the world have administered vaccination to less than 1% of its population, Mr Deepak shared.

Dr Mukherjee said initially doctors too were hesitating to take vaccines. The day we took the vaccination, my wife and I were awake all through the night, he added. Now that 75 crore vaccines are administered in India, we know well now that the vaccines available in India are very safe. He added that vaccine hesitancy no longer exists in the upper strata of society. It is only prevalent among the rural population.  

With a combination of vaccines, covid appropriate behaviour and therapeutic cure, Corona in future will become a treatable disease like any other viral infection added Mr Deepak.   

The COVID-19 vaccine was created quickly but was carefully tested for safety. The vaccination drive in India began on January 16. As of March 2021, only 1.4 lakh vaccines a day were administered and now it has up to 75 lakh a day. So its spread jumped by 50 times, informed Pradeep. 

Giving his opening remarks Dr Ranga Reddy Burri, President, Infection Control Academy of India said the speed of vaccine development surprised everybody as they have developed so fast thanks to the technology it was reduced from a decade to a year or two. Though vaccine development takes time they were done at lightning speed because of the political commitment, money, technology and the need. 20 vaccines developed across the globe, 8 are widely known and 300 candidates are in pipeline, he shared 

The diversity of India necessitates community engagement at the local level, through such mediums that evoke trust, to counter misinformation about getting vaccinated, added all the panelists. 

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