India hits 1B vaccine doses, worries about gap between shots – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-10-21 05:59:09 –

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New Delhi (AP) — India has given a billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine, officials said Thursday. This was a milestone for South Asian countries, with a surge in delta mutants earlier this year.

About 75% of India’s eligible adult population receives at least one dose and about 30% are fully immunized. A country with a population of about 1.4 billion has the second highest cumulative dose after China, the most populous country, exceeded the cumulative dose in June.

In the case of coronavirus, the first highly contagious delta variant detected in India a year ago infected hundreds of thousands of people every day, sending patients to overwhelming hospitals and filling the crematorium at the beginning of the year. Since the catastrophic month of the virus, it has declined sharply in India.

On Thursday, India confirmed more than 18,400 new cases. According to the Ministry of Health, active cases account for less than 1% of the total number of cases and currently exceed 34 million, including more than 450,000 deaths.

Authorities have stepped up vaccination campaigns in recent months, experts say, which has helped control the outbreak. The country started its drive in January.

Still, there remains a worrying gap between those who receive only one shot and those who are fully immunized. VK Paul, head of the country’s COVID-19 task force, said last week that increasing the second dose was an “important priority.”

“I hope this number will increase. Full coverage is absolutely important,” Paul said.

India has previously stated that it aims to vaccinate all targeted adults by the end of the year, but experts need to increase the current pace of immunization to achieve this goal. It states that there is.

A sign announcing the achievement with a photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was posted throughout New Delhi on Thursday. Outside the house of a local politician in the city, residents gathered while sweets were being distributed.

Authorities said they would mark milestones at vaccination centers and hospitals where frontline workers are celebrated.

According to local media, the Minister of Health will screen songs and movies to commemorate his achievements and raise the Indian flag on the historic Red Fort in New Delhi.

India, an important supplier of vaccines worldwide, stopped exporting in April due to a surge in domestic cases and resumed exports only earlier this month. The government is currently optimistic that the increase in national vaccine supply is sufficient to cover international and domestic promises.

Both of the two major suppliers are increasing production, Paul said, with the Serum Institute currently producing about 220 million times a month and Bharat Biotech about 30 million times a month.

Experts say the vaccine situation needs to be constantly reviewed. K. Srinath Reddy, President of the Indian Public Health Foundation, said:

According to some experts, serological studies conducted in June and July show that more than 60% of the population has antibodies to the coronavirus, which could lead to a larger surge in the coming months. It has been shown to reduce sex.

Even states where the infection had swollen a few weeks ago, such as Kerala along the tropical Malabar coast, have seen a sustained decline.

“We are reassured that India has suffered the worst of the delta variants, but we need to be careful,” says Lady. “Even if the number of cases increases, it is unlikely that the scale of the surge will be seen early. If that happens, it is quite unexpected.”

In recent months, life in India has returned to normal. The market is vibrant, tourists can enter the country after a 19-month hiatus, and the country is preparing to celebrate the Hindu festival of light, Diwali.

But there is a fear that this may be a calm before the storm. India may already be on the brunt of delta variants, but things can escalate rapidly when new variants emerge, either domestically or internationally.

“When the virus changes or mutates, the dynamics change. This can change everything,” Paul said.

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