Vaccine Inequity A Major Issue In India, Says Public Health Expert

COVID-19 is still lingering in the world with a variety of variants. While the Indian population is immune to some, some variants are yet to showcase their potential against the vaccines. But, as long as people are vaccinated, including the booster dose, the situation will not be as bad as the first two waves. But here is where the problem lies.

In India, and across the world, vaccine inequity poses a threat. In an interview with PTI, Amita Gupta, chief of the Division of Medicine, John Hopkins University School of Medicine, said that it is imperative now more than ever, to keep the immunities up by inoculating everybody with the COVID-19 vaccine, including the booster does.

Citing the newly emerging variants of the COVID-19 virus, Gupta said, “It is hard to predict whether further mutations in SARS-CoV-2 will increase or decrease the intrinsic virulence of the virus of the severity caused by it.” She also highlighted the grave statistics of vaccine inequality in and around the country.

As per data, Gupta mentioned, less than 2 percent of the total population in India has received the booster dose, whereas the globe (56 countries) is unable to inoculate even 10 percent of the total population. Taking the example of the continent of Africa where less than 2 percent of the population is vaccinated in some countries, Gupta said, “Global vaccine inequity remains an issue both within India and globally.” For India, Gupta suggests, the number of vaccinations needs to increase.

The public health expert also suggested close surveillance and warned of “another surge.” “Anticipate a similar situation will occur in India with these current sub-variants. It is possible that India could face another surge but will be better prepared as people are more aware,” said Gupta.

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