Coronavirus vaccine is not for everyone. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said this during the press conference today. Rajesh Bhushan was asked in the press conference that ‘How long will the vaccination be for the entire country? In response to this, he said, ‘The government has never spoken about vaccination of the entire country. I want to make it absolutely clear. I repeatedly say that before discussing the topics related to science, it would be good to know the factual information about them and then analyze it. So the vaccination of the whole country was never said.
After this, Dr. Balaram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research, said on this subject, ‘This is a good question. This question will depend on how effective that vaccine is. It is obvious that in a person it can be 60% effective, in some it can be 70% effective. This is the first issue. The second point is that we aim to break the transmission chain of the virus. So if we vaccinate the vulnerable part of the public and break the transmission of virus, then we might not need to give vaccine to the people of the whole country.
Secondly, the role of the mask is also very important and it will continue even after vaccination because initially we will start vaccination from a small population. Therefore, the mask will provide protection and will have to continue to be used to prevent transmission of the virus.
Will vaccines be given to those who have become corona infected? On this question, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, ‘National Expert Group about Vaccine Administration headed by Dr. VK Paul, Member of NITI Aayog is also in the field of work and many countries of the world are thinking about it. At the time of vaccination, you should check whether the person you are giving the vaccine has antibodies or not? No final decision has been taken on this, but it is a matter of discussion in the scientific community as well as between countries.
Dr. Balaram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR, while giving further details on this, said that there are two issues related to this question.
1. If antibodies have already developed in someone’s body and you give them the vaccine, will there be any adverse effect?
2. Should we give vaccine after seeing antibodies and save vaccine if someone already has antibodies in their body?
So far as the adverse effects associated with the vaccine are concerned, we have a good amount of data that suggests that the vaccine does not have an adverse effect when antibodies are already developed. However, it is being discussed internationally. The World Health Organization has made it clear in the Solidarity Vaccine Trial that you do not need to see antibodies, you can give the vaccine.