By MitaliNew Delhi [India], October 21 (ANI): Even as India reached the landmark of 100 crore COVID-19 vaccinations on Thursday, experts urged caution and said that the pandemic is far from over.
Former Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Nirmal Ganguly said the threat of COVID-19 will exist until most states in India record less than 10 cases in a day.
Speaking to ANI on phone, Ganguly said, "As per reports, only 25 per cent of the Indian population has received both the doses of COVID-19 vaccines. There is enough data that a single dose does not protect us from the infection. The inoculation of both doses of vaccine prevents hospitalisation and the death rate remains low. So double dose of vaccination is important."The former ICMR DG stated: "The eight-month follow-up of Pfizer has confirmed that the COVID anti-bodies drop after six months of inoculation. So, many people are still vulnerable to the infection.""In initial days, China recorded only five cases but eventually it spread around the globe. India is still recording nearly 20,000 cases per day. So the danger of COVID-19 prevails until most places in India record less than 10 cases per day," he said.
Stating that we need to keep wearing masks for at least one more year, the former ICMR DG cautioned about more mutants of COVID-19 which can appear.
"Ultimately, we have to get a booster shot every year to prevent COVID-19 infection. Countries like the USA and Germany have allowed booster shots for COVID-19. In fact, Israel has already administered the booster shot to 100 per cent eligible population (beneficiaries aged above 18 years). India has to wait for booster shot till it fully vaccinates the eligible population," he added.
The nationwide vaccination drive started in India on January 16 with the healthcare workers (HCWs) and the frontline workers getting inoculated in the first phase.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
The country launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1.
The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to get vaccinated from May 1. (ANI)